An Artistic Legacy
HARTSELLE, Ala. (WBRC) - This is the story of two youngsters who met and became pen pals, back when people still wrote letters. They grew up, but didn’t grow apart, and the long-distance relationship blossomed when Michael Snyder returned home from overseas and Marianthe, his longtime pen pal became his wife. This is also the story of a soldier and an artist.
“I was born in Atlanta and my dad was Greek and then we went to Greece,” Marianthe begins. “No one spoke English, and so there was this one class we had to read the story and then have to draw a picture about the story, and I remember really concentrating on really trying to explain myself through the picture.”
Artists always have unique stories about how they paint and what they paint. This is the story of an artist who paints cows and then she paints on them.
Michael picks up the story, “We met when we were much younger at Six Flags. We became pen pals. The pen pals sustained the first 10 years of a military career. "
A year and a half after returning from overseas deployment, Michael and Marianthe were married. After retirement from the Army the couple settled in Hartselle.
“Everywhere we’ve lived there’s been wonderful things but the quality of life here in North Alabama is kind of what drew us in, and I just love it,” explains Marianthe.
Michael has his own reasons for liking the area, “Veterans are appreciated, and you don’t go so much as a day without someone, if you’re in uniform or they know you’re a Veteran stopping to say thank you and that means a lot to me.”
While Michael appreciates the level of patriotism here, one of those wonderful things Marianthe discovered are the cows. So, she started a series of paintings she calls Ala-Cow.
“There’s something that inspires you, moves you, or think that looks really pretty. Doesn’t that just reflect Alabama, you just want to paint it. You have the rolling hills, and you have the cattle.
As soon as we got settled in this house, I started painting the cows.”
Marianthe is inspired by other subjects as well like landscapes, clouds and Augusta National, the famous golf course where Michael grew up, but it’s the cows everyone has heard about.
“And it just sort of happened where I thought I’ll just put the state in there. I don’t know what the fascination is but there’s some kind of fascination with cattle.”
It adds personality to the cow. Definitely differentiates it from other cows in other states.
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