CLEARWATER, Fla. - June Harpen never forgot her dream of becoming an artist. In between getting married and having a family she worked on her craft. Now, at age 92, she still has an inkling to create.
"It's exciting for me. It sounds kind of strange, but it's, it's really wonderfully exhilarating and especially when it's going well," said Harpen.
Harpen was born in 1927 and raised in Clewiston, Florida. She married her high school sweetheart in 1941 and started a family, but she didn't let that stop her from fulfilling her dream to become an artist.
"I always had some pastels and paper," she shared. "When the kids would go to bed, I would get my drawing stuff out, and then I would put it back under the bed when it was time for me to go to bed. So I did that."
Harpen has sold so many paintings that she lost count.
"I've heard other artists say it's just something you just know you want to do. I can't really tell you because I was not influenced. There was no one around to influence, you know, to influence me or guide me," she said.
Now, she paints once a week in her rented studio space in Clearwater.
"(I) love to look at a painting and have it be a pleasant experience to me," Harpen explained. "I like it to, like speak to me. I like to think, ‘well, gee, you know, that's a nice place.’ I think maybe I would like to see that place or the colors are working beautifully."
She compares art to a window into the world of beauty.
"I think the world just needs more beauty," she added. "Let us, let artists show us what the world really looks like."
Harpen paints mostly pictures of nature, landscapes, vegetation, flowers and plants.