RIVIERA, Texas — Marla Burleson, a Riviera art teacher, has "shoe game," and the Arkansas Razorbacks put her on the map, thanks to her son-in-law.
"He is an Assistant coach at Arkansas University, and Coach Muss, the head coach, wanted his shoes to be painted. I think he had looked into it with somebody, and he wasn't real pleased, and my son volunteered me," Burleson said.
Burleson decked out Coach Eric Musselman's outfit when she started painting his shoes, 21 pairs ago. Now, she's getting tons of attention for her masterpieces. "I have actually received a good many of people that are ordering from me at this point, because they are big fans of his."
She's been teaching art at Riviera for five years now, but the paint brush was calling her name way before then. "I was one of those that when you were supposed to be taking notes, I was drawing pictures in my notebook and stuff."
Burleson takes pride in her work and it shows, "They just tell me specific ideas that definitely need to be on there, and then they let me just do what I want to do. I'm not one of those that uses the airbrush, I'm old school, and so I use the little paint brush, so I have little tedious things that I'm really picky about that I want to look really good."
It's all about having fun for Burleson. She says she loves being a part of the Razorback's Basketball Program, and now, all her favorite things are wrapped into one, "I'm always a big follower of whatever my kids do, and so I'm going to be watching the games regardless, but now that Mike's coaching there, plus I've painted the shoes, plus I'm an old coach and we're real competitive, and Arkansas is doing so well."
Arkansas upset the number one Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 round. Perhaps it was Coach Musselman's lucky shoes? Burleson says she'll keep her paint brush ready for the Elite Eight round.
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