Sharing their passion

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Lindsey Padilla/El Defensor Chieftain: Leon Miler, Cathy Kincaid and Beverly Hansen

Socorro artists Cathy Kincaid, Beverly Hansen and Leon Miler share a strong passion and desire for what they love to do most.

Jewelry artist Cathy Kincaid started making jewelry when she lived in Marshfield, Mass. Kincaid has been making jewelry for 17 years and moved to Socorro seven years ago. Kincaid started when she was walking along the beach and picked up sea glass washed on shore.

“They told me I could never drill through glass,” Kincaid said. “Never tell me that. It is how I got started.”

Through her interest and talent in jewelry making, Kincaid creates rosaries, necklaces and bracelets. She has also gone to Alamo to make prayer and rosary beads, she said.

“I like designing the jewelry,” Kincaid said. “I would like it if someone told me what they wanted rather than (my) guessing.”

To begin her creations, she starts with a center piece and builds from there using string and wire. For earrings, she uses gemstones, rubies and emeralds, and puts them together. For beaded necklaces, she uses sea beads with gold and silver chains. And for rosaries, she uses stones.

Kincaid sells her work with necklaces starting at $45, earrings $29 and bracelets $25. Kincaid has also begun making bolos, which sell for $10 to $15.

She started making bolos after living in New Mexico and being inspired by the local fashion.

She also makes ankle bracelets that sell for $15. It takes two or three days to design a necklace, she says, and the rosaries have to be created a specific way.

Beverly Hansen, an oil painter, draws inspiration from the bosque, birds in the yard and the Socorro area.

“Painting is relaxing, I just love it. It is addicting,” says Hansen.

She prefers to paint on linen because she says it is more permanent and makes a good surface for her oil paints.

Hansen began painting 20 years ago when her aunt suggested she take an oil painting class. Since then, she has been painting more or less when she can. Hansen, who is from northern Wisconsin, has a studio called the Pink Pig Studio in Luis Lopez. Her favorite thing about New Mexico, she says, is the weather, mountain scenery and the bosque, and her biggest challenge is transferring the images in her head to her canvas.

“I am always drawing or writing,” said Miler, an oil painter.

Miler also does watercolors, pen and ink drawings, pencil and occasionally pastels. He also works with calligraphy.

Miler said he plans his artwork in pencil and has a complete concept, and then he transfers it to paper. Miler has been painting since he was a teenager. He says he carries a pen or pencil and a piece of paper wherever he goes.

What Miler likes most about painting is the finished product and success. He paints wherever and whenever he has the opportunity, and Miler has painted people during lunch breaks, and has drawn and sketched people in restaurants. Miler learned to paint people and sketch dancers at Portland Community College when he was taking life figure classes in Oregon.

He has been in New Mexico for 15 years and came to the state because his wife’s family has roots here, he said.

“Socorro is an interesting place,” Miler said. “I like the people, the food and the weather.”

“Do what your passion is — give it a try.” Miler said. “The worst that can happen is that you fail; it has happened to me.”