Smiling snowmen, pink Christmas trees, plump penguins and winter red birds were the focus of four paintings completed by campers over four days, Dec. 22-23 and Dec. 29-30, at a winter art camp hosted at a Zachary studio.

The mostly Zachary children attended the art camp while on holiday break from school.

One youth, Caitliy Baudoin, 9, who lives in Ethel and attends Centreville Academy, said she loves to paint and was excited to bring home her painting of a cardinal perched on a wintery birch tree branch.

Twins Alexis and Kaylan Callihan, 11, said though they have painted before, they were having fun anyway. The girls attend Copper Mill Elementary School in Zachary.

Dane Buccere, son of Zachary artist and high school art teacher Megan Buccere, traded in his crayons for the day to attend the art camp hosted by Zachary artist Joy Petty, owner of Joie Petite Designs Art Studio and Gallery.

“I try to find simple paintings but ones that aren’t so child-like,” says Petty. “Usually, I can find unique subjects online such as ones featured on Pinterest.” The four paintings Petty chose represented iconic holiday subjects such as snowmen or Christmas trees but with a twist. Petty’s trees are painted pink and adorned with ornaments made of sequins.

“It makes it fun for the kids,” said Petty.

Fourteen youth attended the final day of the art camp, Dec. 30. While half of the young artists painted snowy cardinals, the other half created New Year’s Eve shakers — paper plates glued together and filled with sunflower seeds. The young artists designed their shakers with paint, glitter, sequins and buttons. They also crafted birds made from paper plates and colorful art construction paper.

“They get to bring all of their creations — the birds, shakers and paintings — home with them,” said Petty.

Zachary High School sophomore Kyla D’Arensbourg, an artist in her own right who is featured annually at Zachary’s Fall Art Crawl, volunteered to assist Petty with the arts and crafts for the day.

D’Arensbourg is considering a career in the art industry and wanted to see what it would be like to work with the children in an artist-art student setting.

Petty, a physical therapist by trade, was instrumental in founding the Regional Arts Council of Zachary and is the organization’s recent past-president.

Petty says she took a leap of faith by opening her own art studio and gallery in 2013 and now hosts several art camps throughout the year for area youth.

Cost to attend is $35 per child but includes all paints, brushes, supplies, canvases and any of the arts and crafts made during the day as well as a snack.

“The end result: parents get a reprieve while shopping, and the kids get to bring home paintings and arts and crafts they created, encouraging their interest in the arts,” Petty said.

Petty also teaches art classes to adults and youth and features artwork by local artists at Joie Petite Designs. To learn more, visit www.joiepetitedesigns.com.