Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Journey of Self Discovery

"Showing Your True Colors"- 12 x 24 Oil
I started thinking about painting again 10 years ago after I finished taking a beginning drawing class at the local community college.  I LOVED art in school and I had a natural talent for it but life was hectic raising 6 kids and so for 30 years I did nothing to foster or grow creativity in me.  I occasionally told people I could paint and draw but I don't think they believed me because I had so allowed life to choke out every speck of creativity in me. 

It was in 2013, I painted this 12 x 24 inch painting of what is supposed to be my hand holding a giant paintbrush.  My first ever art show was titled "Showing Your True Colors" and this piece was the piece I painted especially for the show.  It hangs now above the door of my studio as a reminder of how my life completely changed directions 8 years ago when I made the decision to leave the 8-5 workforce.

"Creative Finance"- Watercolor and Pen and Ink
After giving almost 30 years my life to one organization, I found myself in a place I no longer felt called to be in.   Rather than being my ministry, it had become a place of  stress and disappointment.   I was no longer happy to walk into my office each morning.   I dreaded the routine of bank reconciliations, dealing with payroll and account receivable, closing out month ends, preparing financial reports and most of all, board meetings. It was TIME! So I packed up my 10 key and the daily grind of  being a business administrator and eagerly traded it all for the opportunity to take up my paintbrush.

Here is an early piece that I called "Creative Finance" and it encapsulates the transition that had started in my life.  I did several other pieces pieces that I jokingly referred to as my "Confessions of a Recovery Accountant Series."

It took a while and lots of practice over the next few years to improve my skills and come into my own style but I'm so happy that I did.  I love creating art that makes others smile.  I feel God has called me to this new creative life and I give Him all the glory that I am able to follow this dream.

At first, I thought I really wanted to focus on landscape painting, so I became a student of  a number of artists on YouTube and online.  I also took a few lessons locally from an artist I really admired.  Taking lessons from others is important part of the process because you have to learn many basic painting techniques.  The real challenge as a emerging artist is to take those techniques you learn from others and turn them into your own style. It's all part of the journey to finding your unique artist identity. 

Fence Post Curiosity- 24 x 36 inch acrylic
In those early years, I did a great deal of hoping around painting a wide variety of subject matters from old prospectors to floral pieces but nothing quite seemed like a perfect fit for me.

It wasn't until around 2015 that I started thinking about my Missouri childhood.  I have many fond memories of growing up in rural America.  I missed the green and the peace and quite that living way out in the country brought.  It wasn't until I painted this piece (Fence Post Curiosity) that I realized that painting simple country scenes, especially those with farm animals in them not only brought me joy but also resulted in lots of smiles on the faces of those that viewed them. 

My series called "Down Country Roads" not only began to define my current style of art but that also helped me find a niche that I could passionately paint in. I call it WHIMSICAL FARMHOUSE.

I have always loved farmhouse style decorating and so painting farm life with a splash of humor was just down my alley or in my case, DOWN MY COUNTRY ROAD.  I am so blessed to be able to start to see success in something that I am loving to do.  Thanks to all that have purchased artwork from me in the past or that follow me on social media.  I SO APPRECIATE YOU helping me do something that I LOVE!  2020 is going to be an AWESOME year!

Here is my latest mini shelf sitter calf that I finished yesterday.  It is only 8 x 8 but that is 64 square inches of pure cuteness.  Next, I'm painting an adorable mini goat on my easel for today.

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