Sandestin's Jean Rice has lived many places, all of which has a spot in her memory that now inspires her creativity.

Rice is the featured artist for the month of August at South Walton's Coastal Branch Library.

This retired pre-school administrator and present-day consultant has only been an artist for seven years, but her talent has already captured the notice of fellow artists and the public.

When her husband became ill seven years ago, Rice found herself with time on her hands and wanted to do something creative.

"I was doing ceramics but they got too heavy to lift," she says. "So, I tried painting with acrylics and just loved it."

Even though she is a latecomer to the art scene, Rice said she has always wanted to paint and did try her hand at it in the 1960s. But she found it difficult to pursue as she had small children at the time.

"I realized I really enjoyed it, and I got lots of encouragement and good comments on my work," she said.

Rice finds herself drawn to mostly painting landscapes of the locales around the places she has lived and visited.

Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, the artist enjoys painting the cypress trees she loved there.

Rice and her husband lived in Germany for six years and had the opportunity to visit several countries in Europe. She now finds herself recreating the Old World markets, city scenes, and harbors she saw while over there.

Since moving to the Gulf Coast from Virginia, Rice is also inspired by the boats, fishermen, sand dunes, beach, and sights she sees here.

"I build on experiences," she said. "I enjoy using bright colors on canvas and I enjoy mixing colors on a palette. I have painted a variety of scenes from veiled faces to Mediterranean villages, cypress bayous, old barns and Little League players."

Although she enjoys mixing colors, her preferred medium is acrylics.

Rice's work has been displayed as part of the Cultural Arts Alliance's Top of the Class A+ Art Exhibit at Northwest Florida State College's South Walton campus, at Retail Therapy in Santa Rosa Beach, the Coastal Branch Library, and at Old Taylor Gallery in Oxford, Miss.   

At this one-woman show at the library, she will exhibit approximately 45 pieces. 

Look for her work during Labor Day weekend at the Village of Baytowne Wharf's outdoor art exhibit.