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Career in creativity: Hartselle artist’s passion takes flight through abstract art

Photos by Rachel Howard and contributed  

For Cassie Beth Powell, art is whatever makes an individual happy.   

“It’s a representation of someone’s personality and what they like to see in a room,” she said. “It can define a room and the mood of a room, and I think individual art pieces can reflect the person who either purchases them or makes them, as well.”  

Powell is the owner of CBPaintings, a business she started when she was a senior at Hartselle High School in February 2017. She said art has been a passion since she was young. 

“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been interested in art. I think that started with my dad and my grandmother, Jerry Powell and June Ward Wallace. She was very artistic – that was my connection with her,” Powell said.   

Following in her family’s footsteps, Powell is mostly a self-taught artist.  She took art classes when she was an elementary student at a studio in downtown Hartselle, but since then she has studied techniques and cultivated new skills by watching other artists.  

“I started out very one dimensional, using one color and coloring in the lines, but as I’ve grown as an artist and gotten older, I’ve learned how to shade and mix colors and learned different layering skills,” she said.   

Her specialty is abstract canvas art. She began with creating pieces for her friends for their dorm rooms.   

Powell said CBPaintings was founded with a purpose to provide affordable art for girls who want to change the look of their dorms – and it has only grown from there.  

“A canvas can really change the whole look of a room. A dorm is such a small room, sometimes people want to change it up every year,” she said. “I’ve had return customers who want a new piece from year to year.”  

“I love abstract art; I enjoy other types of art, too, but that is where my creativity comes out,” she added. “I do landscapes when I need to refresh my brain a little bit.” 

Landscape paintings, she explained, “give me a different outlet and different opportunities to learn how to make things more realistic. My dad is really good at that type of art, and my grandmother, who passed away last year, loved to sketch birds and nature scenes.”  

Powell said her family has always supported her passion for the arts, and that is one reason she continues to find so much joy through her business.  

“Growing up, my mom would take photos of my art and post it online to share with her friends. It was kind of surreal, at that age, when someone reaches out and wants to buy a piece from you,” Powell said. “My mom was kind of my first PR person; she really empowered me to continue following that dream.” 

As her business has continued to grow, Powell said it feels surreal. “It still is, to this day, kind of strange, but the cool thing now is to see where different paintings have landed. I’ve shipped them to different states – as far as Texas.”

 

Powell said she thinks there’s a stigma when it comes to art, one that says “‘You can’t make a career out of art’” – whether it be painting, photography or pottery – whatever it is,” Powell said. “I think there’s an untapped market out there because of the stigma. I think there are probably a lot of talented people out there who are artists but who keep their art to themselves.”  

For now CBPaintings, while thriving, is a hobby for Powell. The Samford alum lives in Tuscaloosa, where she works for the Crimson Tide Hospitality Athletic Department and studies sports administration at the University of Alabama.  

She is active on social media, where she posts her paintings and also takes orders from new customers. CBPaintings can also be found online at www.cbpaintings.com.  

Follow Powell on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CBPaintingsPage and Instagram at @cbpaintings_  

  

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