Watercolor artist Sandra "Sandy" Trinter has become something of a fundraising powerhouse for the Clintonville Historical Society.

Watercolor artist Sandra "Sandy" Trinter has become something of a fundraising powerhouse for the Clintonville Historical Society.

"I'm all in favor of helping organizations like that," she said.

"It's just been a fabulous relationship," society president Mary Rodgers said.

That relationship is the result of Trinter's fond memories of Jimmie's, a store that used to be across the street from Clinton Elementary School, when the retired educator was a student there. It was a place where children could get great licorice for a mere two pennies.

This past August, Trinter and her husband, Tom, were out for a walk when she happened to notice the building that used to be home to Jimmie's, a structure that hasn't changed all that much in the intervening years. Sandy Trinter envisioned a painting that would restore the store to its glory years as a place of delight and wonder for elementary school children.

"Every watercolor painting starts with a drawing," she said.

But creating a drawing of Jimmie's based on memory and the way the building looks today was inadequate. Tom Trinter gets his hair cut at the Longview Barber Shop and recalled that historic photos of Clintonville decorate the walls of the business. Jimmie's, it turned out, wasn't included, but the Trinters were advised to check with Historical Society president Rodgers at her nearby store, Moxie's.

As it happened, Rodgers said, she had just gotten a box of old newspaper clippings and other materials from local history author Shirley Hyatt. Among these items was a 1939 clipping that showed the front of Jimmie's, as well as the wedding announcement more than 40 years ago of Tom Trinter and Sandra Darrow.

When Sandy Trinter stopped in at Moxie's to show Rodgers the completed painting, it struck the historical society president that here was the perfect person to produce drawings for a coloring book the organization's board of trustees had decided to commission "to include younger generations in the history of Clintonville."

Once the line drawings were completed, Rodgers and Trinter decided the artists should go ahead and produce watercolor paintings.

The result was a fundraiser attended by more than 100 people held Jan. 15 at Galleria Evangelia, at which 11 of the 14 paintings were sold, with some of the proceeds benefiting the Clintonville Historical Society.

"I was blown away," Trinter said. "I didn't know what to expect."

"She and I are now talking about edition two of the coloring book," Rodgers said.

"I think she has an eye," the society president added. "I think she has a really good remembrance of the community for her childhood and from being a long-term resident of the community."

Trinter's ability to fill in the gaps created by the passage of time, sometimes even when a home or building has long-since fallen to the wrecking ball, enables her to capture the essence of those structures in the past, according to Rodgers.

"It's a great combination of art and history because she is taking her memories and incorporating them into the paintings," Rodgers said.

- Kevin Parks