As a long-time high school English teacher, I love the drama of the written word, the flow of a phrase, and the art of creating a visual picture in the readerís mind. Art, like the written word, speaks volumes without the slightest sound. Each nuance of the brush stroke can stir the imagination and lighten oneís heart. Acrylic painting is the medium I love because it lends itself to my impatience to put bold colors on the canvas until the painting begins to ďspeakĒ to me and come alive. Iím drawn to the brilliant colors of flowers, to their individuality, strength, and their ability to brighten any room. I search for flowers and gardens with my camera in hand and find those flowers that catch my eye and put a smile on my face. I want my painted flowers to look real, to be intense, alive, and to lift right off the canvas. I find the irony of the delicate strength of flowers to be empowering and inspiring in my life and want that for those who place my paintings in their environment as well.
My 2 -hour art class at a local craft store is the extent of my art classes. Iíve always wanted to paint, but it wasnít until March of 2012 that I put my brush to the canvas. One afternoon I sat in front of a small blank canvas while staring at a basket of yarn that I had placed on a desk in front of me. My 6-year-old grandson, Logan, came into the room. He stopped, looked at me, looked at the canvas, and looked back at me, puzzled. ďWhatchaí doiní, Granna?Ē
ďI want to paint that, but Iím afraid.Ē Oh, my! I really AM afraid, arenít I? I had not even admitted that to myself before.
He paused in thought, then looked me in the eye and said, ďJust start, Granna. Donít be afraid. Just start!Ē
ďI donít even know where to start, Logan.Ē
There was another long pause while he carefully studied the basket of yarn. He spoke with such confidence, arms folded across his chest, ďStart with the basket! Definitely. Start with the basket.Ē
So I didÖ.and havenít stopped since.
I donít know why it took such courage for me to begin to paint and why I waited so long to try, but once I got started I fell in love with it. As an educator itís always pretty easy to teach someone else something I know, but this time, Iím teaching myself something Iíve always wanted to do and actually didnít know I could do. Iím finding that I instinctively know how to paint and love every second Iím at the easel.
When people find joy in looking at my paintings, it does my heart good. My lifeís work has been about showing people who they are, how beautiful and strong they are, to awaken in them the desire to dream bigger, be bolder, and to live in full color. If my paintings reflect those passions, it is because of who I am. I am living my own dream- in full color.