Wildlife Painter Stops in Ottumwa on National Tour

09/28/2010

Florida artist is known for children’s book illustrations

MATT MILNER
Courier Staff Writer

The Ottumwa Courier
Tue Sep 28, 2010, 04:31 AM CDT

OTTUMWA — It’s hard to miss Randon Eddy’s van. The blue-gray factory paint doesn’t stand out, but the wildlife painted on the sides sure does.

Eddy attracted plenty of curious people Monday as she sat along North Court Street, a sketch book in her lap and watercolors atop a folding camp table to her right. The house across the street is a bit out of the ordinary for her, Eddy is better known for her wildlife paintings, but the chance to stretch artistically was too good to pass up.

“This is what I do down in Florida,” she said. “I’m just having a good time.”

Eddy’s work with wildlife painting has found its way into several children’s books, including “Dillo - A Baby Armadillo's Adventure on Sanibel Island,” for which she also created a coloring book. She also wrote and illustrated “The Mysterious Creature,” in 2007.

Eddy is in Ottumwa visiting a friend before heading to her 40th class reunion at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant.

Ottumwa’s abundance of stately older homes drew her attention, and she decided to try architectural painting as an exercise.

The only hitch, if it can really be called that, is that Eddy’s arrival coincided with the arrival of the first sustained cool weather of the fall. For Iowans, it’s fall weather. For a Florida resident, it’s cold.

The trip is part of a long tour that will take Eddy across a good part of the country before she returns home. She also plans visits to Nashville, Tenn., and North Carolina before returning to Florida.

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