Karla McIntosh displays her sister’s clothing creations June 12 at the Festival on the Trails. Staff photo by Veronica Mullin

Veronica Mullin
Special to The Gardner News
Many artists displayed their works at the June 12 Festival on the Trails, but perhaps the most unique of these were the designs of Tina Bush. Her sister, Karla McIntosh, was on hand at the festival to display and sell her sister’s creations, primarily hand-painted clothing.
It all began when Bush was offered a full-ride scholarship to art school. McIntosh said that since their grandmother was an artist, Bush learned to paint from her. However, Bush declined the scholarship and chose to work. The painted clothing phase began with a painting of Santa Claus on a simple sweatshirt. After receiving so much praise for her work, she decided to do more and eventually created her own label.
Bush’s label, called Creations by Tina, is located in Sand Springs, Okla. The clothing she sells is vibrant and playful, and her most popular items include cotton jersey overalls and tank-skirt sets.
“They’re feel-good clothes,” McIntosh said of the clothing. “They’re fun, and you’ve got to have a good personality to wear them.”
Although the paints she uses are acrylic, she has in her time of experience developed a blending technique that allows the paint to soften but remain durable after washing. According to McIntosh, the paint ‘lasts forever,’ and is completely machine-washable, wearable and easy to care for.
“We’ve been told by some of our followers that when the clothes get too worn out to wear, they cut them up and make pillows and bedspreads out of them,” McIntosh said.
Speaking of followers, Creations by Tina has quite a few. Bush once owned a store in Jackson, Miss., but it became so large that she felt overwhelmed and decided to downsize. She now operates out of her garage, but that doesn’t slow down her business at all. In fact, McIntosh said the most remarkable trait about Bush and her artwork is the amount of fans she’s gathered over the years.
“There are ladies that buy one of each color in everything we have,” McIntosh recalled. “We put out a new design every season, and they keep coming back for more.”
McIntosh said Bush dreams of her ideas for new designs. Her most popular print, a green and blue dragonfly on black cotton, is accompanied by many other beachy-sweet images such as flowers, fruits and butterflies, painted on overalls and other articles in bright pinks, blues and greens. However, the most famous print even today is the original Santa Claus.
“Santa Claus began it all,” McIntosh claimed. “He’s just precious. When you see him you’ll know why.”
Bush’s artwork, Creations by Tina, will be on display next at the Kansas Events and Fairs art show in Topeka. For more information on the show, visit www.ks-events-fairs.com or call (785) 215-7911.