Friday, 3 December 2010

Avis Chitwood

Avis Chitwood
American Kansas Printer
illustrator and writer of children's books

Once she started, Avis Chitwood couldn't stop expressing herself through art. She drew, sketched, and painted in Kansas for nearly 100 years. Her best-known art depicts the wildflowers and rustic buildings of Kansas. Chitwood took an early interest in art at her childhood home in Mound City, Kansas. She drew with colored chalk on a blackboard in the family's dining room. As she grew and continued to excel at art, her father recognized her talent. He arranged for his daughter to study watercolor and china painting at a Kansas City art studio after completing high school.
I show you her "native flower" compositions. I found all somewhat discolored but that may also be caused by the paper Avis used so I left them as I found them in different locations. I think this the first time 6 of them are shown together. I hope to find more with the help of readers of my humble Blog. Any information on the paper used is welcomend too.
Four years later, Chitwood moved to Topeka where she designed and illustrated a catalogue for Dennison Paper Products. Always interested in trying different mediums, she studied art and architectural design at the University of Kansas. She applied her sketching talents to perspective drawings from surveyor's notes at the Kansas Highway Commission.

Chitwood next took an interest in etching, saying, "the strong contrast of black and white has a dignity and strength that appeals to me." She taught courses on the subject after studying it at Washburn University.
Chitwood enjoyed sharing her love of art with others, and did so by organizing and teaching art classes for children and high school students.
Late in life she began writing children's stories and poetry. Chitwood's talents did not go unrecognized. Her pieces were featured in several exhibitions and won multiple honors and awards.
She never stopped creating art, and was still drawing up to her death in Topeka at the age of 100.
Enjoyed reading the post ? You are invited to leave a comment. Also when you didn't or have any suggestions.

I used the (condensed) text found at:

The first picture of the printing lady is not Avis Chitwood but is used for illustration purpose only (but it could have been Avis at the Press though).
NEXT POST (soon) :
Margeret Evelyn Whittemore


  1. i believe i have a painting of hers, it is black background, has the same yellow & purple plumes in an indian-style pot w/ an indian rug underneath.

  2. I'm very curious, please send me a picture. You'll find my email adress in the contact button above.