My art story began with a fender-bender. It was around 1993 and I was sitting outside my children's classroom waiting for the bell to ring when a couple of my friends came running over to me. They said some woman had hit her van into my VW Kombi van as she had tried to park and the two vans were still hooked together. Of course, I went racing down in a mad panic....Roxy (my Kombi) needed me! Thankfully, no damage was done and the woman was very apologetic so I just laughed it off and told her not to worry about it.
The very next morning, while dropping the kids at school, Raya approached me and said that she had something for me and, from her van, she pulled out the most darling, hand-painted, wooden stool I'd ever seen. It had a teddybear surrounded by roses painted on the seat. Raya said she wanted to gift it to me because I had been so nice about the fender-bender. She commented that she had painted it herself and I was full of praise and gratitude. Raya went on to say that she had only lived in Brisbane for two weeks, having lived in Adelaide prior, and she was hoping to start teaching Folk Art classes but had no idea where to start. I felt the need to help her out so I spread the word to all my friends. Shortly thereafter, five of my friends and I attended Raya's first Folk Art class. From the moment I picked up the paintbrush I was hooked. Not only would I attend the weekly classes but I would also practise at home trying to perfect my skills. Raya often commented that I was a natural and a better artist than her. She did wonders for my confidence.
We worked on painting little wooden cut-out dolls and teddybears. We also did a Daisy Welcome plaque and a Home Sweet Home plaque. Then, only a few months after classes began, Raya broke the bad news that she would be moving away as her marriage has broken up so would not be able to teach anymore. I was sad for Raya and devastated for me. I had a passion to paint and now I had no teacher to guide me. I had only learned basic brush techniques with Raya but craved so much more. From that point, I made up my mind to teach myself from books and, over time, I ended up venturing away from Folk Art into Decorative Art and, from there, into Fine Art where I enjoyed the challenge of realism painting in acrylics. Books have helped me along the way but I have found my best teacher to be 'trial and error'. While my paintings of today do not reflect the primitive FolK Art style I started out with, I feel deeply grateful to Raya for unleashing my artist within. To think, it all started with a Fender-Bender.
From this -
To this -
Please feel free to share your 'Where it all began...' story and post a link in the comments. I would love to hear/read about how art found its way into your life.