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Renowned New England artist to exhibit watercolors at Shirley gallery

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Luann Hume has been painting her whole life.

Back in the early 1940s, her mother noticed her, at the age of three, sketching with any writing instrument she could get her hands on.

She has been making art ever since. Art lovers will get the chance to see her most recent collection of watercolors on Sunday, May 17, at the Sitka Creations Gallery, 2 Shaker Road, Shirley, from 2-4 p.m.

Hume’s mother, Thelma Townsend Booth, encouraged the young artist from the start. At nine, young Luann was taking the bus to nearby Fitchburg, where she spent many Saturdays at the Fitchburg Art Museum, which offered art classes for children. She had many joyful hours drawing and painting and beginning to learn her craft.

“I prayed for more Saturdays in the month,” she says, the better to keep learning and creating.

She feels fortunate, she said, to have had a wonderful mentor in her high school art teacher, Mr. Munson, whom she calls her “hero and savior.” She was so enthusiastic about her favorite school subject that she begged Mr. Munson to let her attend his class for the entire school day. He was happy to comply. “As long as I could pass the tests in my other classes,” she recalls, “it was OK with Mr. M.” She did manage to keep up in her other classes while studying in Mr. Munson’s class all day. Such an accomplishment must certainly be an inspiration to all young art students.

Landscapes and seascapes, capturing all seasons of the year, make up most of Hume’s subject matter. She has painted nature scenes from all over New England. She works primarily in watercolors and pastels, often on large sheets of high-quality paper. Her birch tree paintings have found homes in the residences of art lovers all over the world.

“They call me ‘the birch tree lady,'” she said, recalling the pieces that have distinguished her among New England artists. She has sold thousands of paintings.

Hume has been a leader in the arts community of the Central Mass area for many years. She joined the Leominster Art Association at its founding in 1964. She teaches painting on Sundays at the Leominster Gallery. She is a member of many different arts organizations, including Maine Women in the Arts, the Princeton Arts Society and the Pastel Society of America.

Hume lived and worked in Maine from about 1993 to 2013, residing in the town of Wells but painting for a diverse audience in the seaside resort of Kennebunkport. Art lovers from all over the world came to this lovely coastal town.

The artist’s work is displayed in such venues as the Boulder Art Gallery in Fitchburg and the Richard Whitney Galleries in Wells. She and her husband, Leon, are now back living in her hometown of Leominster.

For information, visit www.sitkacreations.com.

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