Meet the 2017 Art Guild Members-Feature Artist -Karen Thornton

"After teaching high school art for 30 years, Karen Ravine Thornton discovered her own artistic niche when she took pottery classes at the Center for the Arts after retiring from her teaching job.  Although Karen had her own pottery wheel for years, she soon learned that the hand build method worked best for her to incorporate a more unique design in her work.  Karen creates attractive pieces that are functional and decorative.  Using the slab method of rolling flat clay draped over forms, the clay takes weeks to slowly dry.  The key to the beautiful results is in the red clay, her patterns, texture, and Karen's recognizable color with wipe off glaze.  Her pottery is collectible and sought out by repeat customers. 


The foundation of Karen's artistic direction began with her parents.  Her father, Fred Ravine, was an artist for 40 years.  Becoming an art teacher was a natural choice for Karen.   Currently she uses her gift teaching "the wee worship class at church", making set designs to bring Bible stories to life for children.  After retiring from Tusky Valley High School Karen launched her second career, the art business called "Pottery by Design" and "Jewelry by Design" which is up-cycled jewelry made with a clay base.  Her first lovely broaches and pendants were made incorporating jewelry items left to her by her mother.  Today she has an extensive inventory metal, beads, vintage pins and other elements for her creations.  "It's all about Redemption..."  says Karen about the reassembled jewelry she makes.


Meet the artist with her work at various Tuscarawas County Art Show venues or see more of her work at karenannthornton@karenannthornton or

Meet the Art Guild Members-Feature Artist -Jim Maullar

Jim’s childhood artistic talent was encouraged by his mother. She knew he had something
special. Although he took art in high school, there was no room to add art to his college
classes. Then after graduation the responsibilities of life put art on the back burner.
His interest surfaced again in 1985. He became “house mom” when daughter, Kaitlin, was
born and his wife, Judy, went back to work. Jim and Judy have an older son, Christian, and
younger daughter, Stephanie. It was while on home duty that Jim had the time to learn from
William Alexander, the German TV artist, who taught wet on wet technique with oils. Returning
to the interest of his youth he bought a small set of oils. Thereafter, Sundays were spent
painting in the winter and golfing in the summer. His paintings were mostly landscapes and
seascapes, as that is what Alexander taught.
Once again change came when Terry Orin, Jim’s friend since high school, invited him to
Boulder, Colorado for a workshop taught by Robert Venosa and his wife, Martina Hoffmann.
As he absorbed the art style Venosa called “fantastic realism”, Jim’s life changed forever. After
that workshop his desire to paint was boundless. He painted constantly, producing numerous
canvases that were seen primarily only by his family. That is, until TCAG President, Harley
Sefert, visited his home in 2000. Seeing the volume and quality of his painting, Harley
encouraged him to join the guild. He joined and participated. Jim helped cover a vacated seat
as Show Chairman for one month, later resided as President three years and has been our
Treasurer for the past three years. The best part of his involvement with the guild is that his
artwork is out of hiding. He has brought fantastic realism to Tuscarawas County.

© 2020 Tuscarawas County Art Guild|New Philadelphia, OH