Louisiana artists build an online community to showcase their work | Pelican Post

In the heart of South Louisiana, Sherrie Smith, a self-taught artist, has transformed her surroundings into a canvas that pays tribute to the vibrant heart and soul of the Pelican State.

Nearly four years ago, Sherrie turned to painting to pass the time during the pandemic. She chose to use found driftwood, reclaimed wood or local sawmill scraps as a canvas for her work because she thought it was “fun art” rather than “fine art.” The whimsical art often takes a light-hearted look at familiar Louisiana images, such as bayou scenes, monuments, wildlife and cocktails.

What started as a hobby quickly became a passion and soon a business. Now her vibrant, affordable creations have captivated a local following. Several area businesses and restaurants display her artwork, and customers near and far have found her through her Facebook page. Gingersnaps and Sazaracs artwork.

Commissions have become the foundation of her business, with customers requesting custom pieces with specific colors or images that they can give to friends and family for special occasions. For example, she recently painted a field of wildflowers in front of a barn on a plow disc, and then made a second image with sunflowers at the request of a Facebook follower.

She has also found a community of fellow artists through the Louisiana art and artists Facebook group. With more than 5,000 members, the group is an online showcase for Louisiana artists and crafters to showcase their arts and crafts. “I enjoy seeing what others are doing and getting feedback and ideas for my own work. It has become a source of inspiration and affirmation, not necessarily sales,” she said.