BERLIN — Local painter Jean Frank recently noticed the old entrance signs to the Wood Duck neighborhood were looking a little worn down.
Frank, believing she could lend a hand – or a brush – reached out to Ocean Pines Public Works and volunteered her services to redo the paintings.
“I was tired of looking at it!” she said with a laugh. “I was actually going to do it last spring, and then things got busy and it got very hot, but I had a lull this winter.”
Frank and her husband moved from Frederick to Ocean Pines about three years ago. A self-taught painter, Frank said she’s been making art for as long as she can remember.
“My father was a draftsman, so I think I picked some of that up from him,” she said. “Around 1993, I started creating works from photos I had been taking, and I entered different art shows and art organizations over the years.”
Frank was president of the Frederick County Art Association on two separate occasions. She also worked at the Delaplaine Arts Center for almost two decades, managing their Gift Gallery that showcased roughly 200 visual artists.
Turning her sights to the Wood Duck signs, Frank called Public Works and asked if she could repaint them.
“They were like, ‘Oh, okay, great!’” she said.
Repainting the two signs took about two weeks. While the old images were fairly simple paintings of a mallard duck floating in a small pond, Frank’s update added more color, depth and detail, especially along the breast, flank, wings and crown.
The paintings were sealed with a weatherproof varnish, and Public Works installed the panels and new plexiglass covers on Friday, Feb. 7, Frank said.
“The neighbors are thrilled,” she said. “I don’t know if other people notice that much outside of our neighborhood, but it means a lot to us.”
For more on Frank’s artwork, her original jewelry is on display at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street, and more of her paintings can be seen on her website, www.jeannoelart.com.
Once the weather warms up, Frank will also return to the Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market, where she annually offers face painting for children.
“Certainly, I’ll be back face painting in April, and that’s a lot of fun. The kids love it!” she said. “It’s so cute to see their smiling faces.”