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Mothers Day Surprise for Dover's Grandma Moses - abc27 WHTM

Mothers Day Surprise for Dover's Grandma Moses

Mothers Day Surprise for Dover's Grandma Moses

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"I was interested in art from the very beginning," Marie Beam Wise told me while starting into her next painting. "That was my whole life, I guess."

And for the 94-year-old York County resident, art is still a big part of her life.

"It just came natural to me," she said. "I just wanted to paint."

Her sunroom studio overflows with her latest renderings, and a nearby room holds samplings from a lifetime portfolio.

Wise's artistic talents blossomed while she was a student at Harrisburg's William Penn high school. There, the 1939 graduate earned an art school scholarship to a Harrisburg art school. Mechanical drawing classes at William Penn also paid off for Wise, enabling her to design several homes during her lifetime, including her current residence, an addition to her daughter's home in Dover.

Her paintings and drawings include animals, landscapes, nature and portraits. Some she does just for fun, including a self portrait of her wearing a low-riding hula skirt when she was a young lady.

"I painted it. So, that's a self portrait," she laughed.

And, as much as she enjoys painting, Wise was not prepared for a recent Mothers Day surprise when her family arranged to have sixty of her paintings displayed in the East Room of the State Capitol building.

"I was speechless," Wise said about the surprise. "I couldn't believe it was happening to me."

"Why me?" she added. "I'm not the best painter in the world. I'm not even Grandma Moses."

And those lucky enough to witness Wise in action at her easel, there's a good chance they won't go home empty handed.
"It's yours!," declared Wise at the end of our interview, handing me a beautiful painting of a cat. My turn to be surprised.
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