How do we figure out exactly what floats our boat, or to use the old cliche, find our passion? One tip-off for me was discovering that whenever I was creating something, I became so blissfully absorbed that eating and sleeping were unimportant and time seemed to stand still. To use another cliche, I was in the zone.
As a kid it usually involved pencil, paper, crayons or paint but, as time passed, I was no stranger to restoring furniture, dabbling in graphic design, constructing beautiful window treatments or designing drop-dead-gorgeous flower arrangements. After much trial and error, several art classes, and a mentor or two, the deal was sealed... passion found. Although raising a family temporarily moved all this to the back burner, I still managed to keep the creative embers glowing by volunteering where I could - art docent, costume maker, set painter for school plays. But as kiddos began to sprout wings and fly, out came the canvas and brushes.
What to paint? I was stumped for subject matter. Since animals - mostly cats, had been a love of mine for as long as I could remember, it made perfect sense to start there. I tried my hand at depicting cats as I knew them - quirky, cunning, slinky, cuddly, loving. To put a twist on some of the paintings, I used multiple canvases to make up a single image (diptychs and triptychs). A cat stretched across three panels added whimsy and emphasized these elegant creatures.
As luck would have it, while waiting for my double-tall latte at a nearby Starbucks, there on the wall was a display of about a dozen paintings by a talented local artist. Since I had been given a boost of confidence from a couple of Ebay sales, I figured it was time to get my name on the list of artists waiting for that coveted wall space. A month later, there I was up on a step stool carefully hanging diptychs and triptychs of cats and more cats. And so it began. What I thought would be a little exposure and a sale or two, turned into several sales and requests for custom pet portraits. Who knew there were so many animal lovers out there? Along came the city art walks, participation in a gallery exhibition and even more commissions. I am now also honored to provide artwork to local animal rescues to assist with their fundraising.
So there you go, two passions realized - animals and art...boat floated.