Getting Started

My house did not feel like home, with its dark walls paired with blinds drawn against the Florida heat. I was always trying to brighten the place up. The focal point of the living room was a heavy, gray stone fireplace with a dark, wooden mantle. It needed color, but I didn’t want to drill into the stonework in this rented house. I decided to paint a big, bright bouquet that would never wilt, that complimented the colors of my living room, and that would gracefully sit on the mantle and lean against the chimney.

For the past ten years, my artistic expression was limited to the kitchen. This was a great excuse to paint, however, as it fell under home decorating, and might even keep me from running out to buy cut flowers with such frequency. I got to work on the painting to brighten that space. I loved the way it turned out. I considered how so many people rent their home for various reasons. How nice to have a piece of art that can just be leaned up without leaving a mark in the wall. I painted more.

Painting freely felt so good. I dropped my self-restrictions that kept my art in a frozen state for too long. I loosened up. I found that, for me, artistic expression through painting was akin to playing the piano – if I was reading the notes, I found it to be tedious and forced. If I play by ear, improvising, playing whatever travels from my heart to my fingers, the result was organic, part of my soul. I also found that the looser I was with my art, the more likely I was to squeeze it in to the corners of my day. I used acrylic paint, for the quick clean-up.

My paintings begin as a burst of color, words of a song, and perhaps strips of paper from a book of herbal remedies. From this abstraction I see and draw out flowers in a field or in a vase. Each original piece sings with color and texture.


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