In July of 2000, my husband, James, told me that he had a dream that I would become an artist...he said it was his dream for me to be in art shows all around the United States, and become known for my artwork. Up until that time, I drew all the time, but I had never taken drawing seriously. It never occured to me that I would ever get any better or make anything of the drawings. I never even had any idea that people actually bought pencil drawings!
The next week, he went out, and bought me some pencils, a sketch pad, and an electric pencil sharpener. He brought them home and said, "Draw something."
I had some old National Geographic magazines in the house, and decided to find some pictures in there to draw. My first drawing after the day James started encouraging me was of a bird on the front cover of one of the magazines (pictured on the left).
When James looked at this picture, he told me it was wonderful and that I needed to keep practicing!
I did! I practiced every day after that. I drew many, many pictures of birds and other animals, but I felt a yearning to do portraits of people.. I thought it would feel so wonderful to be able to capture a person's personality and spirit on paper. I felt as though I was just not able to draw faces. I drew many pictures of faceless people because I was simply too afraid to risk being a failure.
When I told my husband this, he said "Well, keep trying...how can you know you can't unless you've tried?"
So I did try. One day (in October of 2000), I surprised myself when I was drawing a picture of George Bush Sr., and I actually recognized him in my drawing. I was ecstatic! I finally realized that I COULD draw something that closely resembled what I was looking at! It wasn't just something I would have to go to college for (something I had previously thought)...I didn't need lessons....I could do this on my own!
After this, I decided to devote my full attention to portrait drawing. I drew portrait after portrait until I was confident enough to sell some of them.
I sold my first drawing for $25.00 in April of 2001. At the time, this felt VERY high...and I was so honored to be paid anything for something I had drawn!
Slowly, I began to get a little better. People were beginning to compliment my work everywhere I showed it. It was a wonderful feeling.
Each new drawing became a lesson. I learned something from each one I drew.
By November 2001, the pictures were selling for as much as $125.00 a piece. I was starting to realize that what I was doing did have some value after all!
In 2004 I decided to start trying some decorative painting...I started using Donna Dewberry techniques, and progressed from there.
Once I was confident enough with the brush to try something new, I began painting more realistic and detailed murals. In February of 2005, I painted my first "real" mural in the baptistry of our church.
I was so surprised to see that I could do this, and so encouraged by the responses from members of the church, that I decided to paint more around the house. In November of 2005, I painted a my son's bedroom, all the way around all four walls, and am currently working on a mural in my daughter's room.
I decided after this that if I could paint something on my children's walls, why not on a larger wall?
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
So, in 2010, I got in touch with the city and a nearly year later, started doing murals bigger than I ever imagined doing before (some 40 feet long!)
Hopefully, over the years, I will continue to improve my technique. I am so thankful that my husband had a dream for me to become an artist. I believe God led him to help inspire me to do something that has become one of the most fulfilling of my life.
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Click here to see article about my artwork published in the Flatpicking Guitar magazine.
Click here to see article published in the Cullman Tribune.
Click here to see an article published in the Cullman Times.
Click here to see short clip from a local TV interview (channel 2) from 2001 (requires Quicktime)...This is a short clip from a long interview I had on a local TV show in 2001. The clip is not very clear .... please excuse the poor quality.
Click here to see second short clip from local TV interview (channel 2) from 2001 (requires Quicktime) ...Please excuse the poor quality in this video....In this clip, I was saying that I thought that I would never use paints, because they are a completely different medium....and I would "probably need lessons"....how things change!
Click below links to see short clips from TV interview from Dec 2005 (channel 2 again)