Jan's Art Studio held a Mary Carole portrait seminar July 15 through 20.

Mary Carole Larson is an oil painting artist and instructor who comes to the studio three times a year to teach a class. She's taught classes at the studio in Bastrop since the 1980s. Larson was born in Oregon, raised in Washington and has lived in California for many years. She began painting in 1969 and has taught oil painting classes and seminars since 1975. Traveling nationally she has taught in 15 states and has 13 videotapes on oil painting instruction distributed by Jenkins Vision. Her early training was at Santa Ana College and Laguna Beach School of Art. She studied afterwards for five years with the American master artist, Everett Raymond Kinstler. Larson paints a variety of subjects including portraits, seascapes, florals and landscapes or anything else that catches her interest.

“I love what I do,” Larson said. “I've been teaching for 40 years.”

The week long seminar had art students from several states come to paint under Larson's teaching. Students came from North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Debbie Fallon, a resident of N.C., drove with her friend Joyce Luke all the way from Meridian, Miss. to Bastrop for the seminar. They have both been painting for 25 years and have attended several Larson's seminars in Mississippi. They were asked what they thought of Bastrop.

“It's a nice little town, small like Meridian. We had a beautiful drive here,” Fallon said. “Everyone at the studio has made us feel right at home.”

Students were asked to bring in photos of family members, friends or even their favorite pet. Audrey Boyd even decided to bring in an old photo of herself and another of Belle Watling from “Gone with the Wind,” so that she could paint herself in the character's attire. Boyd has been attending Larson's seminars at the studio since 1988.

The seminar is offered for people of any experience level. Larson's next seminar at Jan's Art Studio will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 5 through 9. Tuition will be $95 per day or $450 for five days. Deposit is $50 per day or $200 for five days. The deadline to register is October 1.

For more information on Larson, visit www.marycarolearts.com.

The studio is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. For more information about the seminar or classes offered, check Zakrezewski's Facebook page or visit her website www.janmarieart.com.