Meet this year's downtown ornament artist, Amber Payton

Nov. 23—MOULTRIE, Ga. — Moultrie native Amber Payton has produced her first Christmas ornament for the City of Moultrie. This year's ornament features the Belk Hudson Lofts.

Over the last few years, the Belk Hudson Lofts has undergone a tremendous transformation thanks to developer Hal Carter. He has created ten apartments, while Southern Savvy Med Spa and Baba's, a restaurant, now occupy the storefronts downstairs, according to a post shared from Downtown Moultrie's Facebook page.

Payton is a 21-year-old watercolor fine artist now located in Gainesville, Ga. She moved from Moultrie after marrying her husband Judson in April this year. Judson often assists with her business, Refined Studio.

Payton specializes in watercolor artwork and floral designs for weddings and other events. She most recently started offering press flowers.

She told The Observer that Amy Johnson, the City of Moultrie downtown economic development and public relations director, contacted her a few months ago to commission her for the design opportunity.

"I know that a lot of people love the ornament around Christmas time. They'll collect them every year, so it's fun to be a part of that and just all the traditions that people enjoy," she said by phone Tuesday morning.

After receiving a few photos from Johnson, Payton began her design process.

"This was a drawing with just pencil and ink. There are a lot of little details in it, and I know that it's kind of hard to see in the actual ornament just because it's so tiny. I love to add a lot of details in my work," Payton said. "Normally I'll start out with a pretty rough sketch just kind of marking out where things go. Then I will take a ruler, and I'll just kind of go over the lines, and draw them with a ruler," she explained.

After the precise lines are drawn she will start her favorite part of the process, adding the fine touches, details and shadows like the trees and lamp posts.

She added, "I definitely love kind of like the adding in the final touches and the details in the shadows. It's the best to me. That's the most fun part."

Ornaments will be on sale during downtown's Lights! Lights! Thanksgiving Night! Celebration. They can also be found at surrounding downtown businesses.

Ornament lovers can also meet Payton during the celebration. She will have a booth showcasing her original artwork, courthouse prints and other ceramic ornaments.

She hopes to receive another chance at designing downtown's ornament.

Refined Studio can be found on or on Instagram at amber_refinedstudio.