HAWLEY - Like a quaint Victorian-style Christmas card, Hawley Winterfest’s theme is captured each year on canvas. A different painting, showing a snow-draped scene in or near Hawley, is raffled off by the Downtown Hawley Partnership (DHP) for its projects benefiting the community.

Barbara Briden, an artist from Tafton and a member of the Downtown Hawley Partnership (DHP) board, has depicted most of them, including the 2017 painting.

For the 19th annual Winterfest, she picked a neighborhood street scape of lower Church Street, with its Victorian-era houses blanketed in snow.

“Barbara’s stunning watercolor is currently on display at The Visitor Center, but it won’t be for long,” said Kate Hayes, who chairs the DHP committee.  “Soon the painting will be in the Lobby at Settler’s Inn, and then the work will enjoy some time on view in the sunny showroom of Teeter’s Furniture.”  
As in the past, Painting Raffle tickets can be purchased at the Hawley Library, Visitor Center, Doodles & Such, and Teeters.  Look for the colorful poster in any of these locations.  One lucky ticket will be the winner of the original signed and framed watercolor. The drawling will be held at noon on Friday, December 23.

“All proceeds will benefit the Merchants group of the Downtown Hawley Partnership,” Hayes said. The Merchants’ Events Committee uses the funds for its downtown Hawley improvement projects.  
Bill Holster of Picture Perfect Framing Gallery of Hawley provided custom framing.

Biden picks the subject each year. She looks about for something appropriate and imagines it with snow. For this scene it wasn’t hard to imagine, when two or more feet of snow collected in the Hawley area late in March, the only major snowfall of the winter. She was out taking pictures of the scene for her painting.

She says she uses some artistic license with the colors, and adds her own snow and sky. Most of the people are imaginative. Joe Faubel happened to be seen outside shoveling his walk, so the artist put him in! The dog that is pictured also shows up in her other paintings. Briden said this is her “grand-puppy,” part of the family.

Biden said that while she did not attend art school, she took art courses under some prominent artists while living in New Jersey. Much of her skills, however, have been self-taught, she said. She taught primary school for a while, and then pursued a career with AT&T. Her hope was to find more time to paint when she retired. She and her husband Richard first bought a vacation home at Lake Wallenpaupack in 1993. They have been permanent residents since 2002.

Her studio is in her home. These days, she has taken to more abstract art, which she said is “very freeing.”

The Hawley Public Library has a limited supply of packets of note cards depicting her past scenes, which benefits the library. The Library has its own basket raffle every year for Winterfest.
Hawley Winterfest is set for December 8-10. For more information visit online at HawleyWinterfest.com.