Someone recently asked me if it is necessary to have formal art training or do some people just have natural talent. Speaking for myself, this artist is living proof that a formal degree is not a necessity. However, having this natural talent means that I am in a constant and continuing education from which I never intend to graduate. I read a lot on the subjects of art and business and am always studying my subject matter through books, photographs and in person. You will also find me most days elbow deep in paint and paint mediums expanding my knowledge through work, play and experimentation.
I feel very fortunate to be actually making a living doing what I love to do. Most of my art is commissioned works which means I paint on demand. This type of work is continuously changing and challenges me with each new project. The special client requests take me out of my comfort zone with style, subject matter and unique surfaces. This keeps my work fresh and makes me fearless. I am a people pleaser and my husband and I together are troubleshooters; therefore we make art and home decor happen for the client, whatever their request. The projects always turn out to be better than all of us imagined and there is tremendous satisfaction in that.
As for my natural talent, I think my strongest talent is seeing the details. I can actually visualize the layers of colors in my subject matter and instinctively know which to lay down first. I pay attention to the highlights and shadows that form the shapes of the subjects. I especially love the tiny details of animal hairs and whiskers. It’s what makes them who they are.
Another aspect of being able to “see” is that I can look at a blank wall or a naked piece of furniture and see the life it is supposed to have. It’s as though there is a story waiting to be told and I am the conduit through which it is told.
Not long before my dad passed away he apologized for not sending me to art school for formal training. I told my dad certainly not to feel bad. He and Mom gave me a great and beautiful life and I have truly had an education of a lifetime with my traveling through this life. I have no regrets. I love my life and truly feel that the life I have led has made me the artist God meant for me to be.