Karen Ellsbury and Crystal Hazen pose for a portrait at Studio 116, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 116 West Main Street in Farmington.
Karen Ellsbury and Crystal Hazen pose for a portrait at Studio 116, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 116 West Main Street in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
IF YOU GO

What: Studio 116 classes

When: 10 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays for children’s classes. Thursdays for adults. Workshops on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Studio 116, 116 W. Main St.

Price $125 for adult classes, $75 for workshops, $25/hour for children’s classes

More info: 505-801-5889

Farmington— Four children sat around tables draped with blue plastic tablecloths. One child dripped paint onto a canvas. The other three created collages.

The children were participating in a class at Studio 116, 116 W. Main St. in Farmington.

The studio first opened its doors in May, but it had its grand opening Friday during the Summer Art Walk. Studio 116 is primarily a family studio, displaying the art of Karen Ellsbury and her husband, Patrick Hazen, and daughter-in-law, Crystal Hazen. In addition to displaying art, the studio offers art classes and workshops.

Aside from her work at the studio, Crystal Hazen will also show her art from June 29 to the end of July at Crash Music in Aztec.

Crystal Hazen, who has dyslexia, said she is not good with words.

"Whenever I feel something, I paint it," she said.

Studio 116 is located in the space that once housed two former businesses, Henry's Trading Post and Joe's Barbershop. An old display case from the Farmington Drug Store features custom jewelry made by Ellsbury's brother, who owns Bowties and Butterflies, a custom jewelry store in the Animas Valley Mall.

In the center of the studio, there is a table that displays art made from old trumpets and other horns. Ellsbury said her late husband was a hoarder and, after he died of a heart attack in 2007, she went through his things. Some of what he kept she turned into art.

"I wanted to bring something positive out of that," Ellsbury said.

She said the display is a homage to him and how "we are a product of our own history."

"Everyone told me my art would change after I was widowed," Ellsbury said.

She didn't believe them at first. But she now admits it did change.

In one of her classes at the studio, Ellsbury teaches how to paint roses. She said she was once able to paint lifelike roses, but now she can't paint realistic styles.

"It seems like when you go past a style, it's almost impossible to go back," Ellsbury said.

Despite her own issues with roses, Ellsbury said she can still instruct people to paint them.

Ellsbury's recent stylistic changes came after taking a trip to Yellowstone National Park with Liz Stannard, a local artist, she took pictures of the landscape. Stannard and other local artists were experimenting with pour painting, or drip painting, at the time, and Ellsbury decided to try her hand at it. She printed the photo on a canvas and dripped paint onto it.

Over time, Ellsbury's drip paintings have changed. She stopped using photos and started making paintings that represented a landscape.

In addition to her art, her life has changed as well. Three years after her husband died, Ellsbury went on a date with Patrick Hazen, a former classmate from Aztec High School. The two had lunch at Boons Family Thai in downtown Farmington, and their friendship grew from there. The couple married shortly afterwards.

Lylie Bowen, left, and her sister Kieya Bowen work on a their paintings during an art class at Studio 116, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 116 West Main Street
Lylie Bowen, left, and her sister Kieya Bowen work on a their paintings during an art class at Studio 116, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 116 West Main Street in Farmington. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

Because of downtown Farmington is where the couple first reconnected, Ellsbury said the area has special importance to her. And she's happy to run her studio downtown.

"I'm excited to be part of a grassroots movement to revitalize downtown," Ellsbury said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her@hmgrover on Twitter.