Sunday 10 February 2008

Where it all began.........

This morning, I visited Maria's blog and she had an interesting post on how art began in her life. Click here to read Maria's art story.

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 -
I spent a while cleaning greenware, getting it fired and then painting it in my own way

I also taught myself how to work with texture paste

I love painting flowers

Painting animals is more challenging but I love it most

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.


  1. What an interesting start to your art journey, Serena! I love folk art too, though I haven't tried it, but I love collecting it :)

    Your bird paintings are AMAZING! And I also love your flower paintings :)

    Hope to read some more of these amazing stories from fellow bloggers :)

    Thanks for your lovely comments, Serena, & the link to my blog,


  2. What a great story, Serena! You have really made a transformation...and by doing it all yourself! You must be a natural born artist, but with a lot of hard work too. It is a gift from God!

  3. What a great story Serena! I had no idea - and I'm amazed you've been at this for such a short time - you're so gifted! It's great to see some of your beautiful pieces again, and to see what got you started. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your journey.

  4. I have no defining moment when art came into my life. I have always had my hands in things, even as a child, and any and all forms of art interested me. I can remember most of the turns I took in other directions to learn new things, but there is no one single time that was more definative than others...I would feel lost if I wasn't doing something every day of my life. Doesn't have to be much, but there has to be something each and every day that allows me to use my creative mind. Ro

  5. That's a great story. I can't remember a day that I wasn't an artist. I told my mom and dad at the age of 5 that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I never even considered any other career. And ever since I graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design, I've been a designer and fine artist ever since. I still can't imagine what it would be like to do something else.

    Wonderful blog!!!!!!

  6. Most amazing Serena. Your talent is phenomenal. The hard work has definitely paid off and I can't wait to see your new projects.

    Very kind of you to be so nice with your vehicle but it paid off in the end.

    Nice story.

  7. WoW!
    Absolutely AMAZING talent!
    Love the story by the way!
    Natural talent is a blessing.
    So glad that you found it!
    Your birds are TRULY FANTASTIC!

  8. Wow, Serena. Great story! What a reward for being a good sport about a fender bender! : )

    My favorite paintings of yours are the kingfisher (my very very favorite actually), and the eagle (which is our symbol of freedom in America).

    Your talent amazes me!


  9. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments. :)

  10. Wow - what an interesting story. You are so talented. Your bird paintings are excellent. And I love the Indian figurines.

  11. That is an amazing story and looking at your early work there is no doubt you are a natural! I love the kookaburra, the light on his feathers is wonderful!

  12. Beautiful progression! I do LOVE that sheep plate!

    As for me, I was doing the art thing since I was a was always encouraged. You sure get a lot more done than I do, and your work is just stunning.

  13. I am so glad that you shared your story. Wow! It's wonderful how much your work has progressed in such a short time. I really love that bald eagle. I'm trying to teach myself painting now. Wish me luck!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me such nice comments.


  14. You do beautiful all of it.

    Thank you for leaving me such a nice comment.
    Cory from Arizona USA

  15. what a fabulous story--i LOVE how you've moved through various stages. i have to admit that the folk art wouldn't have grabbed me (sorry!), but the birds! and that zebra drawing-in-progress: WOW! love that flamingo, especially.

  16. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. As a child, I remember drawing a lot and I even did the occasional drawing in my teens. Funny though that it took that one accident in later years to cement my passion for art in my daily life.

  17. Hi. It was an interesting story. Your works are very creative. I just loved the art works. The bird paintings and the wooden dolls are lovely. You have inspired me.

  18. I am absolutely stunned by the way you paint birds, especially--but all your critters! :)

    I've been a dabbler in art--and crafts. I started with trying to copy the funny page characters when I was around 10-11 years old. Used to wait for the Sunday paper and lay on the floor and draw--after I read the funnies, of course. :) Never had the time to invest--many interests--so a dabbler. :)

  19. Thank you and I'm pleased to hear I have inspired you, Decorative Art Painting ~ :)

    Thanks, Rita! I love to hear how other artists started their creative journey. Thanks for sharing your art beginnings here and it's great to see you are still involved in the creative life. :)