A couple of Christmas's ago, my daughter bought me oils, brushes and canvases. I had never painted, but loved to draw and won some awards while in grade school. I gave it a try and am enamored with painting. Before I was laid off, my workplace encouraged my artistic endeavors and hung several of my paintings in our cafe. I sold several paintings, without that intent, but one to a vendor who saw a new painting of mine and "had to have it". One of the most encouraging remarks related to my painting came from a business owner who came into my workplace and saw one of my first paintings. He asked to hold it to see it up close. He told me he had majored in art at Washington University in St. Louis, and he would never be the painter he considered me to be.
Right now, I am painting from a photo that my upstairs neighbor commissioned me to do as a gift for her twin sister. Most of my paintings are inspired by photographs I see in magazines. I fear my style has become too compulsive, as most of those that initially look at my paintings think they are photographs. I have become (although I have not been painting but a couple of years) locked into looking at an example of what I want to paint rather than using my imagination. I want every detail in my painting! But, it is in our differences in style and technique that makes art what it is.