I started painting when I was a teenager, in the basement of my parents home. I found leftover panels from house renovations and used them as canvas's. I then used an assortment of left-over paints that I found with various brushes. For fine detail work, I would use nail polish or eye liner makeup, with the fine brushes they came with. For inspiration, I would paint from magazine photos (National Geographic for example) or the images on birthday or holiday cards.

Every evening, after dinner, while my parents settled down in the living room for various TV shows & entertainment - I would head downstairs into the basement. And there I would create some of the "masterpieces" of my youth. Eventually my parents became concerned about the amount of time I was spending alone in the basement and they wandered down to check on things. They were both surprised to find me painting away on a winter scene - tree trunks in brown eye liner, white snow done in white enamel paint leftover from the kitchen redecorating. That next Christmas they gave me my first set of oil paints.

I started painting on canvas's as well as cork board - I found I loved the way the oil paints soaked into the cork. Bulletin boards were my favorite - cork and they were already framed! I graduated to calendars for inspiration, as well as magazines and holiday cards. I painted away, believing I was a "natural" genius in art. I was not! (laughing here)

I was told in college that I drew very well, in fact one teacher commented that I drew better than her! But my painting skills needed a bit of work - I did manage to have a few paintings that were deemed "good," but much of what I did really needed critique & improvement. But as people pointed out my simplistic style of painting (I was compared to Grandma Moses at one point), I became more and more disappointed. I wanted to be a realistic painter - doing only realism. To my young mind, realism was the only goal to achieve. My disappointment grew into disillusion and eventually I put the paints away "for good" I said.

Slow forward 20+ years and I suddenly take a class at the local high school in Acrylic painting. I become infatuated with this paint that doesn't require toxic solutions for cleaning and thinning of paint. I start reading books about acrylics - start purchasing more paints - start working more with them. They dry quickly & have no odor - interesting! I then decided that there were many painters of realism that are far more talented at that style than I will ever be, so I embraced my "shapes" style of painting and branch out into impressionism.

That was 4 years ago, and I'm glad to say to the field of art "I'm back!" Only now I don't believe I am a "natural" that doesn't need to learn. Instead, I learn something with every piece I create. And one thing I am sure of, I will never cease to learn. Not until I have painted every single scene in the world will I think I've captured it all - only to start all over again to recapture what I once thought I saw.


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