"Later, when my son was in Iraq and my parents and brother were suffering and dying of cancer, my painting gave me a place to go and something to do that relieved the stress and lessened the hurt of the events that were affecting my life."
Huber's reputation as a window artist has been growing in recent years. Her work has included offices and residences, including the window at her own place of employment, the Kentucky Alternatives Program on West Main Street, and a bed and breakfast in town.
She was in particular demand through the holidays as clients wanted her to decorate their windows with winter scenes and Santa Clauses.
But her window art is done year-round and includes scenes well south of and a lot warmer than the North Pole. In fact, she notes that one of her residential clients "wants me to come back in April and paint a spring scene" where the Christmas scene has been.
Huber traces her interest in art back to her childhood in the Kings Mountain area of Lincoln County. Her father, Roy Sims, was a mechanic who had to spread a small paycheck thin to take care of seven children and a handicapped wife, Aretha, who was disabled in her 20s with a severe stroke.
"We weren't rich in terms of money but we were in terms of love and caring and family history," she says, noting that she is a direct descendant of Davy Crockett on her mother's side.
Huber dreamed of growing up to become a famous fashion designer.
"I don't think there was any fashion designer genes in the Crockett family," she says with a laugh. "Davy killed a lot of bears but I don't think he designed his coonskin caps or buckskin pants."
"Before I could write my name, I was drawing sketches of bodies and drawing dresses and skirts on them," she says. "At first the bodies didn't have heads or arms, but I added them, along with more kinds of clothes."
She left her dream world for the real world
But Huber felt the odds of a "poor girl from rural Kentucky" making it big in Hollywood or New York were against her. She departed her dream world for the real world, which for her meant dropping out of Memorial High School in Lincoln County, getting married in 1979 and moving to Indianapolis. She was able to finish high school and raise her son, Stephen Huber.
After a divorce, she moved back to central Kentucky so she could be close to her ailing parents. After they died of cancer about five years ago, her brother died of the same disease a year ago. In the meantime, her son served his year-long stint in Iraq.
Thanks to a friend from Casey County, she was able to find an outlet for her inner-artist and also a way to deal with the tragedies of death of her parents and brother and the trauma of her son serving in harm's way.
"My friend had this rock that had a painting on it and I found it so beautiful and also interesting and decided I wanted to do it," she says. "Then, I started doing window art. Six or seven years ago, I did portraits of the founders of the Casey County Apple Festival on the window of a restaurant in Liberty and won first place for it in the festival's window art contest.
"I found art, whether it was scenes or portraits, whether was rocks or windows, to be so relaxing and peaceful."
"I used my art as sort of an escape, a release, from what had been happening to loved ones important in my life and how their situations affected me," she says.
But art had become more than therapy for Huber. She was developing it into an avocation, something to fill her time away from her office job at the Kentucky Alternatives Program, which monitors misdemeanor offenders.
She also paints on canvases
She paints portraits of people and animals, mainly from photos rather than live sessions with her subjects. She also paints scenes of all kinds and seasons. While most of her art still is done on windows and rocks, she also uses real canvases for some portraits. She uses a variety of paints but only acrylics on windows because they can be wiped off.
"I love painting, and I would love to be able to stay home and paint all day, but I can't afford to do that," she says. "I know I can't afford to realize my dream of traveling the world and painting people and things in Europe and Asia and South America, all over the place."
But her painting provides her the currency to pay for at least a mental trip around the world.
"I can take a trip to Paris by painting a famous building there or to Rome by painting a Roman emperor," she says.
Throughout her life, Huber has used pencils and paints as her passports to a dream world - and occasional escapes from the real world.
"Painting has been like a good friend to me," she says. "It has provided me with many good times, and it also has been there to help me deal with the bad times."