How I Started

The painting shown is one of my very first paintings when I was just beginning to learn.  


This seems to be the story that everyone wants. They all ask, “How long have you been painting?”  Ok – not so long!  As a free-lance contract employee to an Interior Design firm in Marietta, Georgia, I did construction documents – by the mile, actually.  I was very good, and very fast, and I could do them in my sleep for the most part.  If they wanted it, I could do the documents to build it.  

Then along came the economy bust in 2009, and suddenly it was time for me to retire, it was a luxury profession after all.  I’d pretty much lost everything 20 years earlier and it scared me badly, so I did not look up; I just worked.  Ergo, I have to say that the tanking of the economy truly did me a favor.  I was well past retirement, and tired of it all.  I’m not good enough with numbers to know whether I was going to be able to survive retirement or not, but I’d done the best I could, so it had to be enough, in the understanding that you live on what you have.

And, miracle! I was fine.  I could not live lavishly, but I have all I need.  

I’d known for years I’d wanted to paint when I could actually manage it, so after a few months of cleaning house, I signed up for an oil painting class at Blue Ridge Community College with the lovely and patient, Laura Miller.  I had thought I wanted water color.  Oh well ….

Along with several other beginners, we began with, “This is a brush ….”  She was the perfect teacher for me.  I was essentially shifting the whole axis of my life.  She gave all the instructions about the medium and techniques, and then pretty much left us to decide what we wanted from her.  She was never unkind and always supportive - just what I needed through those rather emotional early years of painting.  Hats off to her sensitivity; I could not have managed without her.