In Praise of Nina’s Zoomers: Part 2

MIKE YEARSLEY continues his tribute to Nina’s Zoomers… Mountain Mike Meets Amy Owl…

When I joined Nina’s Zoomers, one of the Zoom attendees was a certain Amy Barrett from Milford Haven. As the weeks went by it became apparent that in Amy’s case there was a growing self-confidence and remarkable artistic talent developing. We all got to love her personality, sense of humour and most of all her emerging individual style of painting – particularly in relation to painting owls and tigers.

This culminated in her actually taking charge of one of Nina’s Zoom sessions demonstrating how to paint one of her owls and which we all had a go at.

From that point on she was known as Amy Owl! Amy picked up on my Bob Ross approach to painting mountains and in particular when Nina held a Bob Ross Mountain Zoom painting session using oil paints.

She subsequently nicknamed me Mountain Mike and that’s the name I put on my Zoom profile thereafter. She also has a passion for drawing tigers and I paid tribute to Amy in this respect by dedicating several of my tiger paintings to Amy in recognition of her great work.

No description available.


I holiday in Tenby area each year and have done so since I was a child. It’s like a second home to me. I became aware that following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in the summer months of this year Amy started going into the VC Gallery in Pembroke Dock where art classes were being undertaken under the guidance of Steph Cross, Ann Mills and others (Nina stepping in for Ann Mills on occasions).

She was obviously gaining enormous benefit and confidence from these classes and producing great and prolific artwork. I had become a friend of Amy on Facebook and she, knowing that I was due to go on holiday in September this year, invited me to the Gallery to see her producing her work. This I agreed to do with the permission of Steph and arranged my visit for the morning of 22 September. I arrived on a beautiful sunny day and peered through the Gallery windows and there was Amy looking at me quizzically on the other side. When she realised who I was she went crazy with joy. To meet face-to-face after what we had all been through with lockdown was a truly surreal experience for both of us. Steph and Ann introduced me to the artistic group in the Gallery that day and showed me around. I found the atmosphere in the Gallery very congenial and relaxed, and everyone in attendance was having a really great time.

Nearly all told me it was the highlight of their week being able to go into the Gallery to meet up and paint. I anticipated only being there for half an hour but ended up leaving one and a half hours later and sorry to be going at that!

Upon leaving the Gallery I was thrilled to visit nearby Angel Beach which we had painted at a previous Nina Zoom session and I was longing to compare my painting with the actual beach itself. I was pleased that my representation was a true reflection of the beach other than it was a beautifully sunny day and a very calm sea compared with my painted rugged depiction. (My attached photo 5). Thank you Pembrokeshire for making my visit a truly wonderful day that I will always remember with great fondness.

No description available.

Amy at work in the VC Gallery

On behalf of Nina’s Zoomers and our local Art Lovies I presented Amy with a card depicting an owl sending our love and appreciation for all her great artwork together with a jigsaw puzzle of tropical birds as I knew she also loves such puzzles. Amy took me by surprise by presenting me with a painting she had produced the day before of a tiger set within a snowy mountain backdrop. I couldn’t have been more delighted.

While I was in the gallery Amy was busy catching up with signing all her recent renditions… an amazing amount of paintings proving how productive she is. I left, saying goodbye to her while she was compiling her latest creation putting modelling clay on two canvases that she had drawn up that very morning and which she was later going to paint with acrylics.

Unbelievable! As I departed I asked Steph and Ann if they would kindly invite me to her exhibition – it must surely be in the offing and well deserved in recognition of her remarkable artistic style. Well done, Amy Owl!

May be art

October workshop from NIna’s Zoomers


Thank you Nina for bringing out the Bob Ross within me! I personally will be forever grateful and will never forget your taking me to a place in the art world I never thought I would ever aspire to.

Long may Nina and her Zoomers continue to perform in providing such great creativity, enjoyment and wellbeing to us all.

A big thank you to Nina, the Pembrokeshire VC Gallery and its staff and sponsors without whom what has been created and achieved would not have been possible.

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says " has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

You may also like...