BY BARBARA GIZZI
Mary Ellen Birlin is the Deltona Art Club’s Artist of the Month for July. Her painting Sunrise on Stained Glass, a mixed-media/acrylic abstract painting, is hanging in the entrance of Deltona City Hall.
Birlin has always been interested in art, and began with oil paint until she was expecting her first child. All paint was then put away because of its toxicity.
“Ironically that child became the real artist years later,” Birlin said.
Birlin grew up in Massachusetts, attending Northeastern University and taking business-law courses. She married shortly afterward and moved to Florida with her two daughters.
Birlin worked in the legal department of the Volusia County School Board in DeLand, one of her favorite work experiences to this day.
After retiring, she volunteered with the Guardian ad Litem program out of the DeLand office for about five years.
“It was a rewarding experience in so many ways, especially when the outcome of my cases was positive and productive,” she said.
Realizing that she wasn’t getting any younger, Birlin decided not to take any more cases, enabling her to make time for what she had put aside for so many years. Truly feeling retired, she is now enjoying many forms of painting, reading and dancing, and finds it all relaxing and fun.
Birlin joined the Deltona Art Club wanting to learn more about art, techniques and other mediums.
“It’s a fun group with great talent and interesting demonstrations of artists’ work,” she said.
The Deltona Art Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month September-May at the Deltona Regional Library.