Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How I Got Started Painting.

This post is for all those that get frustrated with the results of your attempts at painting flowers or anything else.  If I can do it anyone can but it takes awhile with lots of practice and then you still will never be content with what you know how to do.

Want the story of how I got started painting?  Does anyone remember The Carol Duvall show on HGTV in the early 90’s?  I loved that show and she had different guests doing all sorts of crafts and art. 

You can still find some on DIY.  Maybe this winter I will take the time to view them again.

One day she had Priscilla Hauser on and she demonstrated how easy it was to paint lovely flowers.  I loved her method and was dying to learn.  But circumstances and a house full of kids limited my pursuits so I put it on the back burner.  But in ‘97 things changed, I took a class at a local craft store in watercolors (the only painting class at the time) and though it was not the medium I was interested in learning I was sure the basics would help no matter what.

Not long after that series of lessons ended I learned that store was going out of business and was selling off its inventory.  I made sure to attend the sale and ended up with a stack of Donna Dewberry painting books for $1 a book. (they did not have any Priscilla Hauser books)  Wal-Mart at that time carried a variety of brands of bottled craft acrylics and off I went. What I liked about the books was Donna used a limited assortment of colors so it was not a huge investment in the paints nor the brushes.
Would you like to see one of my old signs, it is so old I did not have a digital camera so this is a scan of traditional film photo of one of my signs.

Yep, pretty rough looking and my lettering stinks but I was learning and now I wish I still had this sign, I actually sold this on eBay way back when. 

welcome2 001_thumb[1]

I sold most of my practice.  I had an endless supply of reclaimed boards and shingles from my dad’s roofing business so my costs were cheap and selling my signs paid for my paints and brushes.
Though my roses only vaguely resembled what they should’ve looked like I kept at it and slowly they improved. I also learned to hide my mistakes.

The added purple flowers hid my major faux pas on the roses and the stencil “welcome” was a major improvement on my attempt at hand lettering back then.

welcomesign 001_thumb[1]

Eventually I was able to invest in some more books and videos from different painters and I learned their methods. I morphed all the methods into my own.  So in my style you will see elements of Donna Dewberry, Priscilla Hauser and Gran Stallcup.
So now this is my style.  


Though it is a vast improvement over the beginning I am not satisfied. 


By the way, I am stuck on this painting/sign.  I am not sure what wording to put on it.  I was thinking a large script Welcome or a garden poem but I have yet to settle on any one thing.  If you have an suggestions please let me know. 

Come back again and I will start my attempt at showing you how to paint, starting with what I use for supplies.

I hope to see you then.

For a quick demo of painting my roses see my last post: How I Paint My Roses


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  1. Lovely job! I love the basket with the flowers overflowing. Yes,I remember Caol on HGTV.

  2. I always love to see how people begin their art. This was very encouraging to those of us who struggle to learn a new craft. You show us that practice is what makes the difference and that each piece gets better with patience and work.
    I missed the post of painting roses. I will go back and take a look.
    I love the sign. I don't know what words would go well with the beautiful flowers... maybe "Flower Basket Garden" for a cutting garden filled with flowers.


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