So Many Mediums, So Little Time

If you asked Bonnie Abbott what her favorite medium is, she wryly replies, “Well, it depends on when you ask me.” 

This week she might be finishing an acrylic painting. Next week, it could be stenciling mats for her watercolors with spray paint. Then comes a weekend devoted to designing and dyeing shirts, while taking an anything-can-happen-day along the way.

Here’s how she describes her process. 

“Most recently I have been doing acrylic painting over which I spray paint using plants, leaves, etc. as my stencils (recently focusing on Florida tropical images) to build layers of color and pattern. I hand-paint over those patterns using a bird, animal, or tree image, unifying the under-layers, all of which are iconic parts of an ecosystem.”

Recently she has added T-shirt dyeing to her resume. She works with two entrepreneurs who are launching a unique online clothing company, which will utilize her estimable skills. She does batik, direct dyes, machine and hand stitchery, and quilting on top of dyed cloth. 

Her artistry doesn’t end there. She is a fan of the encaustic wax painting process. She is also an accomplished watercolorist. 

But she is most proud and nurtured by her teaching experience. She continues to teach after retiring from 40 years of teaching service in Virginia.   

“I love a kid’s desire to explore and enjoy the moment,” she says.

That’s why she is working with Franklin’s Uptown Gallery, of which she is a member, to support kids of Macon County who might not otherwise have access to the visual arts.

You can meet Bonnie and see her exquisite creations at the Fall Colors Show in Highlands. She is available to do commissions. Contact her at [email protected] or visit artleaguehighlands/ You can also reach her at (828) 743-0200.