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Parkersburg native’s love for painting colors her world

Donna Linsell uses passion to teach, help those in need

Donna Linsell, right, works with Taryn Caplinger, left. Linsell has worked with all ages in boosting their confidence and creativity through drawing and painting. (Photo provided by Donna Linsell)

PARKERSBURG — Creating art and sharing it with others is both physically and mentally therapeutic for the artist and inspirational for the community. A local Facebook group, Painting Buddies at Paddle Run, promotes artistic expression through painting classes and fundraisers.

Parkersburg native Donna Linsell, the creator of the Painting Buddies at Paddle Run and the owner of local business One Of A Kind Creations, has been painting for over 40 years.

“It started out just painting in my kitchen and it has grown from there,” Linsell said.

Linsell started Painting Buddies at Paddle Run several years ago, and the page now has over 400 Facebook members. Linsell uses the group to promote her painting classes, which she hosts multiple days a week at different locations in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“It has become quite the endeavor,” Linsell said when describing her classes, where she hosts anywhere from two to five classes per week for those who are interested in expressing their creativity.

Cardinal Market in the Grand Central Mall hosts painting classes for $25 led by Linsell every Monday night starting at 5:30 p.m., with registration required by calling the Cardinal Market at 304-893-9212.

Linsell has hosted classes of varying sizes, ranging from two to forty people. Typically, her classes gain traction through social media and word-of-mouth.

“My students tend to be supportive of me and we do fundraisers for their churches,” Linsell said.

Fundraisers typically include raising funds to help individuals or families in the area with medical bills or donation of paintings to local assisted living facilities. Currently, paintings that are done by Linsell or her students can be left at the Cardinal Market after classes to be donated to elderly living facilities such as Worthington Manor Nursing Home.

“They are for patients that don’t get a lot of interaction with family, and right now nobody is really getting a lot of interaction due to COVID,” Linsell said.

Linsell expressed her gratitude for her partnership with the Cardinal Market through owner Victoria West.

“She has been an awesome supporter of my business,” Linsell said.

Linsell sells her own work through her business One Of A Kind Creations, and she has paintings available for sale at storefronts such as The Cardinal Market, The Canvas Project and Mindfulness Holistic Wellness and Healing in St. Marys, where she is also a certified life coach and teacher of Therapeutic Art.

Linsell additionally hosts painting classes for $25 at Mindfulness Holistic Wellness and Healing on Friday’s at 6 p.m., with registration required by calling 304-699-1419.

Even in the time of Coronavirus, Linsell is still able to inspire the community through her classes by taking extra precautions to ensure health.

“I Lysol wipe all the brushes, we wash the aprons every time, we use new tablecloths and new supplies frequently,” Linsell said.

Classes are also socially distanced, with only two students allowed at the same table.

If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser for a cause, contact Linsell at 304-483-5465. Linsell only charges for supplies and the rest of the money goes towards your cause, typically several hundred dollars per event.

“My favorite thing about it (painting) is taking somebody who says they cannot draw a straight line and by the end of class they have a beautiful picture,” Linsell said. “It increases their self confidence, and plus the social activity about it, especially right now, is important.”

Jenna Pierson can be reached at jpierson@newsandsentinel.com.

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