Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Tree - 10 Years in the Making

February 22, 2007
I walked in to my first painting lesson, and I was nervous.

The idea of oil painting was completely foreign to me, but it was a time when I needed something new.  My youngest had gotten his drivers license, so my days of chauffeuring had ended.  I'd taken some steps back from the National Writing Project, so I was missing having that creative outlet. Then this opportunity came along.  There was an announcement one Sunday morning that a lady in our church, Cheri, was offering a 6 week painting course.  I remember whispering to Ron, "I'd love to try something like that one day when I have time."  He looked at me and said, "You have time now." 
So... I bought the 5 tubes of paint, the 9"x 12" canvas board, the easel, and whatever else was on the list. I gathered my supplies (and my courage) and went to my first painting class.  
I sat on the front row in the middle.  I so wanted to be successful, but I had very little confidence in my artistic abilities.
I listened.
Cheri said, "I want to teach you to see things differently." 
She told us which paints to use, which ones to mix.  It made no sense, but I did it.
She said to mix orange (of all crazy things) to the blue to keep the sky from being garish. I didn't understand, but I obeyed.
She explained how to make "sky holes" by putting the blue in the tree.
I copied her.
... And... almost like magic... trees appeared on my canvas!  I'd painted trees!  And they looked like trees!  I was so proud of that painting.  I still am.  

As we were planning the painting weekend at Welcome Home Retreat, I told Cheri that I'd paint whatever she planned, but I really hoped we'd paint a tree. She didn't forget.  

So... it's been 10 years... I've done 348 paintings... 
I'm still amazed every time a painting turns out like it's supposed to.
I still get frustrated when a painting isn't turning out like it's supposed to.
I have learned that every painting goes through an  ugly stage and that I have to trust that it will eventually come together.

I have so much still to learn, but I have much to celebrate as an artist. 
Happy Art-Birthday to me!
February 2017

February 2007


  1. Wow your progression is incredible! Well done! :D

    1. Thanks, Oceana. It's been (and continues to be) a fun journey.

  2. This is so beautiful! I love the nudge "you've got time now" and your continued courage to develop as an artist.

    1. Thank you, Amy. Yeah... he's a pretty good encourager.

  3. This is such a wonderful blog post! It is inspiring to see how much one can grow as an artist in a relatively short period of time and have fun, too! Beautiful work! I can't wait to see the 2027 landscape!!! <3

    1. Oh, Thank you Darla! I had to think... 2027?? What's that? It took me a minute. :) I do hope I'm still painting and even better at it in 2027!

  4. I love to read stories like this. Isn't it great to take a look back now and then to see how far you've come on your life's journey?

    1. Yes! It is fun to see that journey. I look forward to the next 10!

  5. Wow do you think you have grown on this journey any? that is absolutely amazing isn't it.

    1. I do know I've grown as an artist. But, I look forward to growing even more during the next 10 years!