Photographs and fences are two ways Joy Ritchie finds inspiration.

The Worthington artist, who will participate in the Columbus Arts Festival this weekend, has decorated the backyard barrier at her Worthington home with depictions of animals, flowers and other subjects in tempera paint.

She said most of the images are from her watercolor work; she also works in pastels and graphite.

Ritchie said she is inspired through photographs and often recreates images from photos she has taken.

"I like to work from photographs because that makes my work original from beginning to end," she said.

Ritchie, 70, said she has created and been interested in art for most of her life, but she has had more time to focus on it since she retired four years ago from teaching English as a Second Language in Columbus City Schools.

After she retired, she started her business, Notecards a la Joy, selling prints of her artwork on 4-by-6-inch greeting cards for $3.50 apiece.

Ritchie also is passionate about educating others about the arts. She has been a docent, or an educator and guide, at the Columbus Museum of Art since 1999.

Debbie Lutz, Ritchie's friend and fellow museum docent, said she has known Ritchie since she started working at the museum.

She said Ritchie excels because of her teaching background.

"She knows how to work with kids who maybe felt a bit on the outside," Lutz said.

Ritchie and Lutz also started the "Creating in the Galleries" program at the Columbus Museum of Art.

"Creating in the Galleries," which is for all ages, gives visitors a prompt in relation to art they are viewing in the galleries, Ritchie said. For example, one prompt asked visitors to put the painting they are viewing into a blender and create a piece based upon what that would look like, she said.

"We're both artists, so it was interesting to us," Lutz said.

Both Lutz and Ritchie will present details about their program at the National Docent Symposium Council from Oct. 24 to 27 in Washington, D.C.

Ritchie also will be recognized for her artwork as one of the artists at the Big Local Art Tent at the Columbus Arts Festival from Friday, June 7, to Sunday, June 9, along the Scioto River at 233 S. Civic Center Drive in Columbus.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. June 7, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. June 8 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 9.

Ritchie said she would sell her work all three days. She said this is the second time she has been chosen for the Big Local Art Tent.

To learn more about Ritchie, go to

To learn more about the Columbus Arts Festival, go to