The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 7, 2012

Milton artist brings Winter Wonderlands to windows

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— WATSONTOWN — The Main Street-facing windows of the Watson Inn have been transformed into a Winter Wonderland, thanks to a local artist and some paint.

Pam Showers, general manager of the Watson Inn, wanted something a little different this year when it came time to decorate for the holidays, she said.

“I wanted to try this as opposed to all the Christmas lights,” she said. “I wanted to take advantage of the Main Street space and the bay window.”

Showers found the perfect solution in Mike Heller, of Milton, an artist who co-owns the Arm Bar in Milton with his wife, Beth. Heller spent three days transforming the 16-foot space into a traditional winter scene, complete with snowmen and carriages.

Heller approached the task by starting with a small sketch, but does most of his work on the fly, he said.

“Most of it is done mentally,” he said. “You may look like you’re not doing anything, but you’re sitting there thinking about what you want.”

Heller said most projects like this don’t follow the original plan closely.

“It never comes out the way you thought it would,” he said.

Heller hand-painted the entire scene using a brush and traditional household paints, he said.

This isn’t Heller’s first art project for the Watson Inn. Heller drew the buildings etched into the mirrors behind the main dining room’s bar area, which have been in place since the Watson Inn’s 2000 remodel, Showers said.

Heller’s son works at the Watson Inn and has been able to see the mural come to life throughout the week.

“Every day I ask him what he thinks,” Heller said. “He likes it.”