From the inspiration to creation to interpretation, there is nothing routine in Carol Ferony's work.

"It's an ongoing process," she said.

An artist all of her life, Ferony grew up just north of New York City before heading south to reside in DeFuniak Springs.

The artist has shown her work around the country, mainly the East Coast, in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Connecticut, South Carolina, and of course, Florida in the past 10 years.

While the move introduced her to new landscapes and scenery, which is often an inspiration for many area artists, Ferony has stayed true to her main body of work, which is abstract figures.

"I've always considered everything inspiring," said the painter. "I'm open to anything that comes along."

While the works of master painters and contemporary artists alike contribute to Ferony's creativity, hints of Picasso are evident in some of her pieces. She always tries to incorporate her own spin on her oil pastels.

"My style is very different," she said. "I'm more of a drawing artist than painter. I combine various techniques in the initial work, each finished with a subtle overlay etching. I really like to create images that have different levels of interest. The artwork becomes a different conversation when you get up close."

Ferony doesn't have a set message for her audience. Instead, she hopes individuals will create their own meaning from her paintings.

"People will always ask me what I had in mind for certain works," she said. "I hope people viewing my images take everything they've learned and recreate it their own way maybe a painting reminds them of a certain memory."

This weekend you can view Ferony's artwork, along with more than 100 other fine artists from all over the country, at the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Festival of the Arts in Destin.

Ferony has been a part of the festival for the past few years and enjoys getting to showcase her work and experiencing other artist's pieces.

"The Mattie Kelly people are just wonderful," she said. "They do a tremendous job each year. It's a great place for people to come."

WANT TO GO? The 18th Annual Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Festival is this weekend, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Oct. 27 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village, located at 4323 W. Commons Drive in Destin. Admission is $3 for adults and free to MKAF members and children under 12. Enjoy live music and cuisine from area restaurants such as Fat Clemenza's, Jim 'N Nicks Bar-B-Q and 790 on the Gulf.