But it was a quirk in the scheduling of an art class in Snohomish that changed the painting style of Camano Island artist Bobbie Mueller.
Just before the class started, she discovered it was a watercolor rather than an oil painting class.
An exhibit of her works, “In My Mind’s Eye,” opens March 5 at Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood.
“She very much paints from the heart,” said Ron Peterson, who co-owns the gallery with his wife, Sue Peterson.
Mueller, 77, primarily paints Northwest scenes and landscapes. “She paints things a lot or people may just overlook and think is not a big deal,” Ron Peterson said. “But through her paintings, she demonstrates the beauty around us.”
Mueller’s interest in art began in childhood. Her father would bring home scrap paper from school, where he was a teacher and principal, for Mueller and her sister to draw on.
In high school, she began painting in oils. “I did as much art as I could,” she said.
But as a student at the University of Washington, she majored in German and earned a secondary teaching certificate.
She took a break of some 20 years from painting, earning a paralegal degree and working in the law office of her husband, Rudi Mueller.
It was in 2009, that she took up painting again. She noticed how much watercolor paintings had evolved over the years. They were brighter than when she started, less traditional, more exciting.
Asked how long it took for her to refine her skills again, she said, “Oh gosh, I’m still looking for them. I just think you can learn something every time you pick up a brush.”
Mueller said she looks for scenes for her paintings wherever she happens to be driving or walking.
“I look for oppositions,” she said. “And usually I don’t try to paint exactly what I see in front of me.”
One of her favorite paintings from her March show is of a tulip field. Other paintings are of Skagit Island, Conway and the impressionistic “Fireweed.”
“She’s an amazingly great person and a great artist,” said Ron Peterson, the Queen Anne gallery owner. “In some ways she doesn’t know how good she is. She’s very good.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
Bobbie Mueller’s exhibit, “In My Mind’s Eye,” is showing March 5-28 at Fountainhead Gallery, 625 W. McGraw St., Seattle. The gallery’s hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The artist’s reception is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. March 7. For more, call 206-285-4467 or go to www.fountainheadgallery.com.