Edith Leigh Manion
February 29, 1928 - February 2, 2020
Edie, an HAA member since 1998, who was also a past President, Vice President, Secretary, Board Member and Gallery artist, passed away on February 2, just short of her 92 birthday.
Edie began her art career at the ripe old age of 5 in Midland Park, New Jersey, where she grew up making paper dolls, designing, coloring, and cutting out clothing for them. In high school in Rutherford, New Jersey, she studied art, but her interest in science and chemistry led her to enroll in courses at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. This led her to a job as a Lab Technician, and also to her future husband Charlie Manion, who worked there with her father at Bell Telephone Labs. After their daughter, Joan, was born she opted to stay at home, giving herself more time and the freedom to draw and paint. She liked doing portraits, and her very first one was of her little daughter, Joan.
In 1968, the Manion’s moved to Colorado. Edie started taking some serious art classes in oils and pastels, and became involved with the art community there. In 1983, while living in Broomfield, Colorado, she helped to start the Broomfield Art Guild. She began displaying her work and winning awards. She also began giving painting lessons and taking workshops in oils and pastels. While she and her husband were annual winter visitors in Brownsville, Texas, she became active in the Brownsville Art League. In 2006, at their International Art Show, she won “Best in Show” out of a field of 300 other entries by artists from all over the US, Mexico, Spain and even Australia.
Although she worked in many different art media — oils, acrylics, watercolor, and pencil — her favorite medium by far was pastels. Her absolute command of the medium, her innate sense of color and design, and her patient, flawless execution, all combined to result in some extraordinary pieces of art. The subjects of her paintings tended to reflect the places where she was living at the time. When in Brownsville, it was Mexican markets, Mariachis, and tropical flowers and trees. While in Colorado it was mountains. After moving here to Sierra vista in 1998, her work took on a distinctly Southern Arizona flavor — the Huachucas, the Santa Ritas, Brown Canyon Ranch, B-Troop, the San Pedro River, along with a wide variety of native plants and flowers. She continued doing portraiture, especially pictures of children, which she occasionally did for free at special events around town. For many years, she took charge of the information booth at Art in the Park, lining up and scheduling all the volunteers, sorting vendor applications, and dispensing info during the event to the vendors and the patrons alike.
Edie sold a lot of her work, but also donated many pieces to raise money for worthy causes. She won many awards in judged shows, and was the HAA Featured artist many times. In 2013, she won the Mayor’s Award for Visual Artist of the Year. Edie was always most generous about sharing her artistic know-how with others at the studio, where she sometimes taught painting to adults, and where she could be found every Thursday and Friday working on her art and engaging everyone who came through the door — encouraging them to come in, take a look around and join the group.
Edie just loved to paint, and when she wasn’t doing that, she was golfing. But that’s a whole other story.
She will be greatly missed.
Celebration of Life will be held at the Huachuca Art Center (1835 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, Arizona) from 3:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m. on Saturday February 29, 2020 which would’ve been Edie’s 92 birthday.
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