Stella Walker tells a story inspired by a train journey:
It was October 6, 2011. An early snow was falling. My husband Barry and I were riding on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad tour with our dear friends Debra and Mike Ford.
This narrow gauge railroad begins in Chama, New Mexico, and ends in Antonito, Colorado. It is the longest and highest railroad of its kind in America. Powered by a steam engine, we were as high as 10,015 feet.
Below and right in front of our eyes were visions of beauty like I had seldom, if ever, seen. The evergreens were loaded with snow. We saw them up close and personal in many places as the train moved along. If you dared, you could reach out and touch them.
The golden aspen leaves were falling ever so gently onto the snow-laden branches, decorating the evergreens with the appearance of golden coins - definitely God’s decorations.
Breathtaking in beauty, it was like a symphony in sight. We could feel and see the harmony of nature with its sunlight, ever-so-gentle breezes, and the huge snowflakes increasing. More golden aspen leaves were falling on the white blanket of snow below, making the slightest indentions.
Looking down from 10,000 feet, the landscape was alive in mountain vistas. Snowflakes accented shades of green, gold, browns, variations of orange, magentas and red. Aspen trunks, with their black notched holding places for their exquisite branches, were reaching out as if to embrace the world.
All that was before my eyes seemed to dance in layers of diagonal picturesque drama. It was an artist’s panoramic paradise.
Suddenly, my heart began to pound, my eyes welled with tears that no one saw, and I could scarcely breathe. I didn’t want this to vanish, but I was terrified to allow myself to be impressed with it.
Then, it came to me as clearly and definitely as anything I have ever heard, felt, or experienced deep within my heart: “With the time you have left, Stella, PAINT”! That impression did not leave me and, to this day, I still think about that experience.
In October, 2013, Stella Walker Artworks Studio opened in Dalhart, Texas. Stella brings over four decades of painting, calligraphy and teaching to the endeavor. While she painted exclusively in oils for many years, she currently focuses on acrylics.
Her first studio was located in Oakley, Kansas, in the 1980s. She has taught hundreds of individuals to express themselves through a variety of visual media. Always open to using new and innovative techniques, the results of her artistic explorations are shown in the work of her students.
“Painting is my gift and I am inspired to share that gift with others," Stella explained. She loves teaching, and also acknowledges the special privilege of being contracted to create artwork for office and home settings.
Many of her paintings are on display at the studio and are for sale, and visitors are welcome to stop by to view them, along with her calligraphy work.