Living as an Artist..Yea, I did it!

Drawn on a graphic tablet
Drawn on a graphic tablet

A little back story about me. When I was 8 years old I lost my Mother in a very tragic way. That Christmas Eve morning she gave me a kiss and said she would see me tonight. I was to go to my Grandmothers after our school party and she would be there after her office party. Well that never happened, I never got to see or tell my Mother Merry Christmas again. She was gone! Four days later two boys canoeing in the lagoons in the park in New Orleans found her body. But this is a story for another day!

Because my Father was all alone now and working 12 hours a day we decided it was best for me to move in with his Mother, my loving Grandmother. I was so lucky to have her and my Aunt that was only 9 years older than me. We went to the same school even though she was in high school an I was in 3rd grade, we walked to school and back home everyday. I would notice the different colors, birds and trees as we walked and talked along the way.

In those days my Grandmother would have to start her stove with those long matches, ya know the kitchen matches. After she would use them she put them in a tin on the table. As I was sitting there talking with her I picked one up and just started playing with it and realized I could sketch with them. I started sketching with them on her paper napkins. That’s what really started me in art. I kept sketching all through my school years. Oh sure as soon as someone found out that I did draw, I was always helping with backgrounds for plays, drawing contest and other activities.
I never stopped drawing, it was kinda like a therapy. Like anyone that continues to do something over and over again you are bound to get better, I would hope.


After getting married at a very young age I did continue to draw and paint just for myself. Then one day, my then husband and his boss came to our house and said, “we have a job for you.” They actually promised this to a very well known person in New Orleans. They proceeded to tell me that I needed to paint his name on this piece of glass, just as it was on the business card. The glass was the front of a cigarette machine, which at that time was in many bars and restaurants, and this man would have it in his newly opened restaurant. He wanted it to reflect the decor he had in there. So it had to match his sign outside and the color he had throughout the restaurant. Oh boy! I wanted to shoot them just then, they have now put their problem on me. If I didn’t do this, the machine wasn’t going in his place. All I could do was look at them like they were crazy, I can’t do this, I explained! Oh sure you can, they retorted….

They proceeded to hand me the business card so I could see what font was used and an apron for the color that was needed. Are you kidding me!
Now, for one thing I never had formal art training, didn’t even know what a font was at the time..LOL Nor did they have computers then much less access to copiers, and they didn’t enlarge or have color. More importantly, I have never painted on glass! Oh boy, did I really have a job! I think it took me three days to even start to approach this task. I had to get this right. This was for the man that owned “Popeyes Chicken”, that just opened a regular restaurant in his name.  Did I mention, I didn’t have any formal art training except one year in high school. Grrrr! Well, to shorten this story it took me a couple of times to get it right, but I did it! It came out great and caused a chain reaction that I ended up doing approximately 26 different restaurant and bars all on glass. This is just one instance that proved to me that you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it!  I did it!!!!!!

Magnolia on canvas
Magnolia on canvas