• Spc. Michelle Delgadillo (left), a signal support systems specialist and Pfc. Aaron Frick, an intelligence analyst, both with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division) paint a mural of the brigade's deployed crest on a T-wall Jan. 4 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i district of Afghanistan. Delgadillo, a Miami native, continues her interest in art while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

    CTF 4-2 S6 soldiers communicate through art on Masum Ghar

    Spc. Michelle Delgadillo (left), a signal support systems specialist and Pfc. Aaron Frick, an intelligence analyst, both with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division) paint a mural of the brigade's deployed crest on a...

  • Spc. Sarah Stimpson (left), an information technology specialist, and Spc. Michelle Delgadillo (right), a signal support systems specialist, both with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), paint a rock inside the dining facility Feb. 22 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i district of Afghanistan. Delgadillo, a Miami native, and Stimpson, a Strafford, N.H., native, continue their interest in art while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

    CTF 4-2 S6 soldiers communicate through art on Masum Ghar

    Spc. Sarah Stimpson (left), an information technology specialist, and Spc. Michelle Delgadillo (right), a signal support systems specialist, both with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), paint a rock inside the...

  • Spc. Sarah Stimpson, an information technology specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), paints a collage on rock inside the dining facility Feb. 22 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i district of Afghanistan. Stimpson, a Strafford, N.H., native, creates artwork for fellow soldiers during her personal time while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

    CTF 4-2 S6 soldiers communicate through art on Masum Ghar

    Spc. Sarah Stimpson, an information technology specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), paints a collage on rock inside the dining facility Feb. 22 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i...

  • Spc. Michelle Delgadillo, a signal support systems specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division) sketches a potential tattoo idea for a fellow soldier March 19 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i district of Afghanistan. Delgadillo, a Miami native, continues her interest in art while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

    CTF 4-2 S6 soldiers communicate through art on Masum Ghar

    Spc. Michelle Delgadillo, a signal support systems specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division) sketches a potential tattoo idea for a fellow soldier March 19 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the...

  • Spc. Sarah Stimpson, an information technology specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), paints a "thank you" collage for the workers of the dining facility March 19 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i district of Afghanistan. Stimpson, a Strafford, N.H., native, creates artwork for fellow soldiers during her personal time while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

    CTF 4-2 S6 soldiers communicate through art on Masum Ghar

    Spc. Sarah Stimpson, an information technology specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), paints a "thank you" collage for the workers of the dining facility March 19 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar...

  • Spc. Sarah Stimpson, an information technology specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), works on a "thank you" collage for the workers of the dining facility March 19 on Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i district of Afghanistan. Stimpson, a Strafford, N.H., native, creates artwork for fellow soldiers during her personal time while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

    CTF 4-2 S6 soldiers communicate through art on Masum Ghar

    Spc. Sarah Stimpson, an information technology specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division), works on a "thank you" collage for the workers of the dining facility March 19 on Forward Operating Base Masum...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan - When Spc. Michelle Delgadillo was younger, she went through a phase where she drew horses everywhere, she said. Now, the signal support systems specialist with Combined Task 4-2 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division) draws infantrymen and Strykers.

"It gives me something to do when the day's really slow ... [or] when I need something to keep my mind busy from what's going on around us," said the Miami native.

She and another soldier painted the brigade's deployed crest on two of the T-walls of her base, Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in the Panjwa'i district of Afghanistan, and she frequently collaborates with her coworker and fellow artist, Spc. Sarah Stimpson.

Stimpson's mother was a painter, so she grew up with art, she said.

"There was really not a time I can't remember not having art supplies around," Stimpson said.

While she said she enjoys writing and reading cookbooks, art consumes the majority of her personal time here.

"I like making things pretty wherever I go," said Stimpson, who grew up in Strafford, N.H.

"I used to farm, so it's kind of along the same lines as seeing a barren field and then putting pretty plants and vegetables and things and making it better." Stimpson explained.

The most requested artwork she and Delgadillo receive are commemorative deployment plaques made from recycled resources.
The two artists get a general theme or idea from whomever is requesting the work. Then they create a concept and choose any photographs, quotes or colors that corresponds with the theme, Stimpson said.

Once the idea is set, they use acrylic paints and other art supplies, both brought from home and sent to them, and create art on old, wooden boards or particle boards, or in some cases, rocks.
Each project is tailored to the recipient and requires approximately five to eight hours, said Stimpson.

Stimpson said she did not mind using her own personal time to work on the art.

"I'd be painting regardless," said Stimpson. "I like the fact that I'm able to give them something to bring home that they'll really enjoy."

Stimpson said creating artwork for others brings her joy; however, trying to choose which project is her favorite is impossible.

"They're all my favorite," Stimpson insists. "It's kind of like having little children, little babies, each time."

When creating art for herself, Stimpson said the inspiration comes from her own background.

"I like drawing from my life experience or wherever I am at a particular time and creating pieces around that," Stimpson said.
Her main motivating factor for her art out here is so she has physical things to show her kids when she returns, she said.

"I have pieces at home from when I was little all the way up 'til now," said Stimpson. "It's nice for me to be able to show my kids and I think they get a better understanding of where I've been and what I've done."

Delgadillo and Stimpson's unit is slated to redeploy to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., later this summer.

Page last updated Thu March 21st, 2013 at 03:36