FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - TCU Horned Frog fever is spreading in North Texas. That’s a good thing for one Fort Worth woman.
She’s a big Frog fan, but the team’s success has unexpectedly turned her hobby into a small side business.
Naomi Burkhalter’s play space is a small corner in her living room. Her desk is covered in a large toolbox full of colors, a palette and an easel.
“Oh it just makes me bubble,” she says with a smile.
After selling Burdav’s cafe in west Fort Worth after 30 years, she retired and picked up painting as a hobby after a challenge by her daughter.
“She says ‘oh come on, you know you can’t paint.’ I said ‘you little stinker, I’ll show you.’”
Her first painting wasn’t too popular, but Naomi’s brush strokes changed over the past 11 years. And she discovered her talent. These days, her palette has a lot more purple.
A painting of a Horned Frog is Naomi’s most popular painting.
“It’s mean looking – like the TCU football team – they’re mean,” she said with a deep laugh.
Once Naomi realized how popular her painting was becoming with friends and family, she decided to make prints. In less than two months, Naomi has sold more than 150 horned frogs.
The story of success is something Naomi holds close to her heart. In 1959, she moved from Lubbock to Fort Worth as a single mother of two young children and no money.
“Before I came to Fort Worth – we almost starved to death,” she recalled.
But she made it. Now, at the age of 75, she’s having the time of her life painting TCU Horned Frogs.
“It’s not the money part, it’s the beauty part of everybody wanting one.”
With one final brush stroke, Naomi completes another masterpiece.
“Well I think it looks good,” she exclaimed.
Naomi didn’t go to TCU – but she is a Horned Frog. Her latest painting is a tribute to her favorite team’s trip to the Rose Bowl. Fittingly, it is a Horned Frog holding a rose in its mouth.
“They’re going to come home with a rose in their mouth – they will.”
Naomi is selling the prints for $25 and framed prints are $50. You can buy one at Vickery Boulevard Café or the Coffee Urn in Fort Worth.
You can also contact Naomi directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a print directly from her at a discounted rate.