Nature, animals and art have all been a lifelong passion although I was in my thirties before I was able to develop more of my artistic abilities. A friend gave me a set of pastels and a drawing pad to revive my interest in art. This led to signing up with a Dallas artist for a class in portraiture. Using pastels, my artwork centered on children and wildlife. I often worked late at night with a tabletop easel set up in the kitchen while our young children were sleeping. With my husband George encouraging me, I attended Richland College for their Fine Arts program. The college had a wonderful art curriculum, but I didn’t learn to paint there since no painting classes were offered at that time. After graduation, I again put creating art aside for many years while concentrating of family, job and an elderly relative in need of care. Now retired, I have a more flexible schedule and a room devoted for art and painting along with continued encouragement from my husband and grown daughters. I am able to apply my time and talents with renewed passion.
It is amazing what can be learned on YouTube about painting techniques so I can’t claim to be a self-taught painter. My association with other artists members and guests at Visual Arts of Prosper meetings and activities gives me additional inspiration. I feel I have been instructed by the best.
Much of my effort is spent capturing people’s beloved pets in acrylic, watercolor or pastel. Like people, every animal has its unique personality and physical traits. Much of it is expressed in their eyes. I use photographs and sketches to work from and find I grow attached to every animal I paint. For most people who receive one as a gift, or commission my work, there is an expectation that the pet portrait will be life-like and have a special emotional connection for them. For me, it is the satisfaction of creating this connection that brings the greatest reward as an artist. I post many of these portraits on my Facebook page Small Texas Tales or Instagram sjcolley45