By Morgan Bryce
Staff Reporter

Art has always held a deep meaning for Beulah native and painter Vicki Sexton.
“My mom (Elaine) has always been an artist. I remember watching her do some oil paints when I was growing up,” Sexton said. “Then, when I was 10-12 years old, someone gave me some pastels and I started drawing. I don’t enjoy drawing too much, but it eventually led me to painting.”
For years, Sexton said she viewed her painting skills as mediocre, but remembers the moment she discovered her penchant for painting.
“About 15 years ago, my sister-in-law asked me to recreate a piece that she wanted for her kitchen. I remember telling her, ‘I’ll give it a try,’” Sexton said. “And it turned out better than I thought it would. I was impressed with myself.”
Relying on word of mouth and social media, Sexton said she was able to expand her clientele, and turn it into a profitable side business.
Working mostly on commissions, Sexton said the majority of her works are name canvases for nurseries and portraits of animals.
Recently, Sexton painted a nighttime-scene mural of South Railroad Avenue for the silent auction held at the Opelika Theatre Company’s Masquerade Ball in October. Featuring each business located between Eighth and Ninth streets, Sexton said she believes the piece perfectly encapsulates the heart and spirit of downtown Opelika.
“The Opelika Theatre Company is all about hometown, and so I thought, ‘what can I paint to go along with that?’ And I have always wanted to paint a scene of downtown, so I viewed this as a good opportunity to do it,” Sexton said. “Hopefully, this achieves that. But, I have plans to keep doing more scenes from downtown Opelika … probably the block where Niffer’s (On the Tracks) is on and one of the courthouse.”
Married and a full-time mother of three, Sexton said painting is a nice diversion from her busy schedule.
“Painting is my passion. It’s what I enjoy doing,” Sexton said. “It’s my happy place and chance for me to express myself.”
Her mural of South Railroad Avenue is available for display at O Town Ice Cream.
For more information, or to see more examples of Sexton’s works, like and follow her Facebook page ‘Happy Canvas Art’.