Darlene Hyde of Brodheadsville read an article in The Decorative Painter inviting members of the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP) to paint an ornament. There would be 500 chosen to decorate a holiday tree at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.

"At first I didn't think I would do it. Then I thought why not," says Darlene.

She was pretty pleased with it when she was finished and decided to send it in.

Darlene was tickled pink when she received notice that her small ornament size painting of a still life of a vase with a flower and a cat sitting nearby it had been one of the 500 chosen.

A tree with the ornaments are on display in the Renwick Gallery's Grand Salon from Dec. 3-31.

The gallery is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

It is the home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's craft and decorative arts program.

Darlene is a member of the Pocono Painters, a chapter of SDP, which has members throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and 42 other countries.

Its 291 affiliate chapters actively promotes the art form through community service projects and other painting-related activities.

Besides painting, Darlene loves gardening and flowers. She enjoys recreating the beauty she finds in nature in her paintings.

She lives with her husband, John, and enjoys spending time with their six children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild whenever she can.

She says that having received word that her artwork was selected out of so many entries inspires her to try her hand at entering her artwork in more venues.

"It's very thrilling," she says.