I started painting about 2 or 3 years ago. I've always been artistic, and I offered to paint some backdrops for a play my daughter was in. It was fun and easy for me, so I then began painting canvases and placing them on Ebay to see if anyone else (besides my family) would like my art. Ebay items sold fairly quickly, but at a low price. I opened an Etsy shop, but was "chicken" to list any of my art. One day on the way to school, my daughter said "why do you keep buying so many canvases? You aren't selling any art." I went home that morning and placed my first paintings on Etsy. I sold a painting within the first five minutes of opening my Etsy shop!
I love color and I love flowers. Also, I have always been drawn to folk art and to still life paintings and landscapes. I think almost any painting can be beautiful if the colors are right. I cannot think of a particular artist -other than maybe Norman Rockwell (wasn't he wonderful!?). Yet, my style is certainly not reflective of his. I have been dragging my family into art galleries for years and have a wide range of tastes, but I am always attracted to nice color.
A giclee print actually is a method used to make a print. Giclee (pronounced "zhee-clay") uses digital images to print with archival quality ink on archival quality paper. I order all of my prints from a professional art printer. I love the heavy Somerset Velvet paper they use for my prints. It is a sturdy watercolor-like paper with some "depth" to it. I considered investing in a quality color printer (I have a fairly decent one, already) and just printing from home, but realized that I simply could not duplicate the quality of the Giclee prints that I purchase from the professionals.
I actually began painting when my consulting business declined. Art is my "recession career!" It is difficult to find time to paint when the kids are extra-busy, but the entire family has actually been supportive of my new hobby. Their only complaint is when I sell my art. They do not like to part with anything I paint. My art studio is a separate room in my home with two large windows that provide lots of natural light. Some friends have been encouraging my artistic ability and gave me their drafting table last year.
I have produced several custom scripture art pieces for new babies, nieces, mothers, mothers-in-law, etc. Custom work is difficult if there are too many constraints - like "can you paint these two very long verses with lots of orange and purple and brown and I would like some birds and flowers on the 12x12 canvas- but nothing too busy." I am slowly learning how to say "I don't think you will like how that will look."
I have not done any commercial work, other than backdrops for various community theater plays. I painted three very large Santas for a local toy store last Christmas. We drive past the store daily and just last week my 11-year-old son said "Their best window display was last Christmas." Like I said - my family is very supportive of my art!
I've only been shipping to the U.S. and Canada. If someone overseas contacted me and offered to pay the additional shipping costs, I would probably oblige.
I am slowly growing as an artist and actually think that my art is a way that God is working on my insecurities. At first, I was embarrassed to let anyone know that I painted. And, even now, I will have an occasional day where I wonder if I should just throw my brushes away. During those times, God either sends someone to compliment my work or purchase a piece - or I just have an urge to paint for fun.
I am realizing that in every aspect of my life, I care less and less about what "the world" thinks of me (and my abilities), and am aiming to please God. I know that my artistic abilities are a "work in progress" and hope to one day produce beautiful landscape paintings. Still life and landscapes are my favorites! I just need more practice. I also want to venture into oils, but have not yet attempted to use oil paints. (I've purchased the paints and paint thinner. I just haven't opened them, yet!)