16 X 20 Oil on Canvas: Follow the Eyes

I did this oil painting (finished it) of a wolf in some trees, on 1-5-2004, over 18 years ago. I wasn’t very good back then, even though I had been painting a few years. For the most part I am self taught. I Watch a lot of YouTube videos, as my teaching source. About 20 years ago I took lessons from a lady from Washington, Missouri. She was a very good artist, could paint just about anything. Some of her portraits were amazing (especially of children). Saw her once a week and she charged me a whopping $5.00 a lesson. When I met her at an art fair in Washington, when she told me she’d charge 5 for lessons I thought she meant $500 for a series of lessons. When I repeated $500 for how many?……..She said “No, $5 per lesson.” My response was a no-brainer “Sign me up!”. I am sorry to say, her name escapes me now.

When I first started about 25 years ago, I started with watercolors. Hated them, I couldn’t control the paint. My stuff (and that’s exactly what it looked like…….just stuff), looked like something a kindergartener would do. No offense to kindergarteners. I tried watercolors for about a week (which I really on used because they were the cheapest for learning), then moved on to Acrylics. Oh…….much better, but a lot of my STUFF was muddy. At least I felt like I had graduated up to about a 3rd grade level.

I painted a lot back then and gradually got better. Then I quit for awhile, I didn’t see much improvement. Before I quit though I tried oils, (acrylics were cheaper than oils) and I loved the buttery smooth feel of laying them on canvas. I was hooked, have never used acrylics or watercolors since. After I quit for almost a year, that is when I met the lady I mentioned above from Washington, MO. I improved a lot, but after I moved away from the area, I quit seeing her. I have had off and on periods of painting and not painting. I often had artist’s block!

I was painting out of a bedroom/office, with limited space and bad lighting. Recently, a few weeks ago I converted a corner of our basement into a studio. Put down a foam floor, proper lighting, a good size table/bench, a desk/drawing board, easel and this computer on a table. I am committed to painting (something) everyday now. I don’t have to complete anything each day, but I do have to put the paint on the canvas and move it around. Currently working on a portrait of my Siberian Husky, Sky. Sadly she passed away a few short years ago. I will admit having the passion I had for my best friend Sky is showing in the painting. It is (so far) one of the best paintings I have ever done or attempted. I should learn something from this. Paint what you love!

No, the wolf above is not Sky. She was gray, white and black.


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