“I like to paint things that are true to life and mean a lot to me,” Mize said.
An employee in the banking industry for 45 years, Mize spent her spare time dabbling in various crafts through decorating and collecting antiques.
Her artistic side blossomed courtesy of a well-known craft fad — painting sweatshirts.
“Years ago, hand-painted sweatshirts were really fashionable,” Mize said. “I painted a few for myself, but then everyone started seeing them and wanting them. I would paint lots of shirts. One day, I just told my husband (Jimmy), ‘I’m going to give painting a try.’
“I knew that I must have some kind of artistic ability to be able to do that,” Mize added. “I never took art in school at all. I never had any formal training until I started taking classes with Wayne Spradley. That’s the style of art I like, realistic like his.”
Spradley’s art wasn’t Mize’s only inspiration.
She credited the song “A Beautiful Life” by William Golden for fueling her passion to paint.
“I’m kind of a realistic person,” Mize said. “This song is kind of my goal in life. It’s one of the reasons I had a desire to paint because I like to do things for other people. I felt like I could paint and share that God-given talent to maybe bring smiles to somebody along the way. That’s my whole philosophy in how I started painting.”
Mize said she’s sold a lot of paintings, but she also enjoys making prints of her artwork and putting them onto cards to give out to the elderly or sick.
“I like to give them as little gifts,” Mize said. “It’s just something for me to help spread a little joy.”
She explained the meaning behind one of her favorite pieces which is currently on display at the Pell City Library with nearly a dozen of her other paintings.
“The man out there with the lamb, I’ve always called it ‘Peace,’” Mize said. “To me, it’s always reminded me of how the good lord and Jesus holds us every day and takes care of us. I feel like it portrays peace and that’s what I like about it.”
Mize noted she had some reservations about displaying her artwork publicly.
“I was very hesitant because I feel like I’m an amateur,” Mize said. “Susan (Mann) had to really encourage me to bring them up here. I guess I’m my own worst critic. I haven’t done that many paintings if you really think about it.”
Mann, assistant director for the Pell City Library, gave a glowing review of Mize and her displayed pieces.
“She does beautiful work,” Mann said.
“We’re just pleased to be able to present it to the public. I think she’s going to do very well if she continues with this. The work that she has done is lovely. Some of the work is of local places and I think the people will find interesting because they’re familiar with them. I think she has a nice variety of work — everything from still life to the scenes from various places and portrait she has there. She’s got a nice selection of different types of subject matter.”