Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

July 1, 2014

Fulk discovered art talent after retirement

TAHLEQUAH — It’s not unusual for retired folks to turn their hand to the arts. Count George Fulk among that number.

The former optometry professor at Northeastern State University and bird-watching enthusiast has found he also has a talent for watercolor painting.

For three years and two months, after a lesson from an artist-in-residence at Yosemite National Park, he has found enjoyment painting watercolor landscapes, some of which he has sold.

A graduate of Grand Rapids, Micheigan, high school, he always enjoyed the outdoors, but wasn’t interested in painting until he retired.

“Jerald Peterson has been a great help and has given me a lot of encouragement. I took several lesson from him when I was getting started and learned many technical things, but also learned to love painting,” said Fulk.

He took a workshop in Ontario that was taught by Richard Edwards.

“This was a week-long event, and we did all our painting outdoors in a beautiful place on the shore Lake Huron. Because of that, I became very enthusiastic about painting outdoor on site, called ‘plein air,’” said Fulk.

This spring, Fulk taught a class in beginning watercolor painting at the NSU Continuing Education department, which he said was, “a lot of fun.”

“I would like to see each child exposed to making artworks in the elementary grades and have the opportunity to refine that in high school. Not everyone will want to go down that road, but I am sure that many will,” he said. “Without some exposure early in life, many will miss the opportunity to express themselves in this way.”

Painting has become a real joy to Fulk.

“If you try to paint, you become much more aware of things around you. Travel brings special delights that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Even walking around your own neighborhood will be more fun as you will see things you never saw before,” he said.  “I also enjoy visiting art museums much more that I did before I started painting.”

His favorite subjects to paint are landscapes and old buildings.

Art helps put things in perspective and allows the artist to see what is important.

“Those, I believe, are things that, last such as a beautiful landscape,” Fulk said.

Fulk participates in a number of exhibits each year. He can be reached at george.fulk@yahoo.com.

“I put a few things on Facebook every now and then,” he said,

He’s a member of the Muskogee Art Guild and the newly established Cherokee County Arts and Humanities Coalition.

Fulk is married to Mary, and the father of two and grandfather of three, one of whom has developed a talent for painting. He plans to keep taking workshops, and trying to improve. His hobbies are fishing, boating, boat building, cabinet making and bird watching.

Fulk founded the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, which as a fundraiser builds the birdhouses that are painted by local artists and auctioned off every year. He also plans to work with the Cherokee County Arts and Humanities Coalition committee to bring a National Plein Air event to Tahlequah.

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