Oil painting is now a therapeutic and great stress releaser for me. I enjoy the creative visual energy it brings out in me. I use my imagination to form images of what I have seen and make them my own. I paint from my mind in my studio, not looking at what I'm painting, but imagining it. I only used a reference photo once because I wanted to get Half Dome's shape correct in my Yosemite painting.
I started painting with oils about 5 years ago. My mother, a great painter, had a stroke. So for therapy, we used to paint every day out on the patio to get the use of her hands back. Jean, my mother, always painted in watercolors. I even took a class with her as a young boy, but never liked it. I always wanted to paint like those guys on PBS. So I decided to buy oils and paint with them for the first time. I love oils now and could not imagine painting with anything else.
I paint about once every two months on average. My mind gets ideas, and as I am very visual, I remember images of scenes that inspire me. Eventually something takes shape and comes into focus that I can't get out of my head! It just won't leave me alone. We'll, then I know it's time to paint. I paint all my paintings in one sitting from start to finish. It usually takes 3-6 hours to finish. I feel that when I am inspired, and the image is in focus in my mind, I have to finish it before the initial inspiration goes away. I don't ever have to come back and try and rekindle inspiration in another session because once I put the brush and knife down, it's finished.
My mother Jean recovered beautifully, can write and paint well again, and goes out and paints with all her lady friends every week. She recently sold two of her best paintings and continues to offer up paintings for charity in her local community.
I gave away 10-15 paintings as Christmas presents this year to close family members to enjoy. It turned out to be a great idea. Pass it on. I have been in one art show in my county, and have several paintings with some commercial appeal. We will see where that takes me in the future. I have a goal in old age to retire on the Mediterranean in Spain and just paint, eat seafood, and relax with friends an family.
I have images of some of my paintings posted in my photos section.
Do what is in you. Share it with the world. Be true to yourself and your gifts and share them.