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I started painting at the ripe old age of 45 (at the urging of a friend who was an artist) after a plaster ceiling fell on my head while I was doing what I loved at the time, which was remodeling houses. She insisted that I come to her studio/gallery and take a “painting lesson”. “Bring all of your stuff”, she said. What stuff, I said to myself. So, I did what every new budding artist does. I stole my son’s art kit and took off for my very first lesson. The first thing she told me to do was to lay out my paints.. HUH? “You’ve never painted before?!” It was more of a statement than a question. Nope. Never. Ever. Except for walls. It was fun…really fun. I couldn’t get enough. I took lessons from many artists that I admired. I painted animals. I painted landscapes. I painted. I covered miles and miles of canvas. And then I got an itch to paint abstracts. I didn’t know anything about them. How to proceed…how to paint them….or why I was even drawn to painting abstractly. I figured they would be easy. After all, if an elephant, or a dog, or whatever can paint them….surely I could. Couldn’t I? Or could I? Turns out, I could. 

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But they were raw….and unfinished. They didn’t tell the stories I had inside me to tell. So, I searched. I looked on the internet….and I found an artist who’s work I really admired. As fate would have it, we ended up on the same phone call….I was jumping up and down!!!! Here she was in the flesh – or in voice. Holy moly….I was so excited…. We started messaging back and forth like we were passing notes in high school. She mentored artists….did I want to work with her? Did I???? Was it a question…or a statement? Of course. I knew….I knew that studying with her would change my life, in ways I never dreamed. And it did. I went to study with her. She cracked me open. I was raw, I was spent…..and I painted. I had three or four really good paintings. Mona Lisa’s. She knew just what to do to get me to bridge the gap between my animals and abstracts. She gently put me back together, just like Humpty Dumpty. With kid gloves. Since leaving her studio, I’ve painted ….and painted….and gained confidence. I paint intuitively with my hands…with sponges, with crayons, stencils, with charcoal, alcohol (for the painting, not for me… okay….sometimes for me….one for the painting, one for me!). I paint after I’ve meditated and gotten in touch with my inner muse.. I paint after I have burnt sage, listened to music, played on the computer, until I can’t stand NOT to paint any more. I’ve worked with some of the best mind-set coaches and business coaches that I have been introduced to. I’ve invested in me… I’ve shed a lot of crap inside that I don’t need and no longer serves me. And as a result, I’m falling in love with my creative soul…my process, and my value that I bring to this beautiful world. I’ve found courage, strength, love and compassion in places I never knew it would come from. And, as a result…I have a story…I have a story of hope. That even a small town, conservative, etc. etc. woman, can leave a marriage to a wonderful man, because she knew she had/has something to share…And blossom. Blossom and be happier than she ever knew she could be.

     Paula Watters Jones