Our featured artist for August, with an exhibit titled: "The Mermaid of Rocky Nook." Featured are drawings from local artist Barbara Ann Moura from her recent children's picture book.
My name is Barbara Ann Moura. I have been a resident of Kingston for 43 years. In my time, here I have fallen in love with the history of this area. I began working in pen and ink drawing the many historical homes and sites in Plymouth and then of Kingston. My work is presently hanging in the town halls of Plymouth and Kingston. I have also previously exhibited at The Center for the Arts in Plymouth as well as our own library.
My father, Ted J. Meyer was a great pastel portrait artist and his father Vladimir Meyer was an amazing mural artist who painting cathedrals in the Chicago area during the Depression era. My father was my inspiration as well as my worse critic. I have worked in many mediums. Recently, I have drifted towards watercolor and colored pencils. The watercolor pencils lend themselves to be able to blend and contour the subjects I paint.
I have had some formal training, but am basically a self-taught artist that has studied from books and life. I have never met anyone who really showed me how to draw. It came naturally.
The Mermaid of Rocky Nook came out of an idea that began many years ago. My goal in writing this story was to bring a little magic to the reader while trying to teach new words and include a little history lesson as well. It’s hard to say just what inspired me to write such a tail. Merrow, the mermaid, the main character, came out of a project that began from painting a buoy for auction during a fundraiser for the Kingston Public Library. Many buoys were on display at the Library a few years back and appeared at an event that brought in donations with many other items.
As I painted the mermaid on that buoy, I started to picture this mermaid coming alive to all the creatures in Kingston Shores. I had previously written and illustrated another children’s book several years ago that was exhibited at this library and did a reading. The book entitled Toadie the Turquoise Toad was written in alliteration using T words. I decided I would do the same with The Mermaid Rocky Nook only using M words. I took the time to incorporate and highlight those words creating a vocabulary to go along with the story.
As a retired teaching assistant with Kingston Elementary for many years, my love of working with children and helping them learn was very rewarding. I wrote a lot of the book while working there and even had the chance to test it out in first and second-grade classes. It has gone through many changes and edits since then.
The editor of Riverhaven Publishing, who published my book, polished it up and condensed much of it. The finished product is lovely. These 34 illustrations in the gallery have been completed over the years. Each one was created from my imagination. A lot of the story which takes place on Gray’s Beach in Rocky Nook was sketched on location. My hope for the story is to bring alive my messages of hope, love, and history of our little town and area.
The exhibit will be on view in the library's gallery throughout August. The library is open Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Barbara Ann Moura will also be present at the library for a children's author talk on Thursday, August 17 at 11 AM. Adults and children can register for the event here.
Major portions of the above were submitted by Barbara Ann Moura
Back to website
Pictured Above - Cover of Barbara Ann Maura's book, "The Mermaid of Rocky Nook" and article that appeared in June 2023 issue of Kingston Living (You can read the article here - Scroll down Facebook page to view article)
Picture Below - Original images from the Art Exhibition "The Mermaid of Rocky Nook" on the left, center, and right, respectively, at the Kingston Public Library