A Lifelong Hobby Develops into a Business

Art has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old, when I surprised by family by drawing the furniture in my aunt’s living room. From that time on, each Christmas I would request from my parents various art projects as one of my gifts. I learned embroidery, drawing, oil painting, crocheting, sewing, porcelain painting, weaving, and various other types of art. I really enjoyed sewing and for a time I turned it into a business. But my absolute favorite was oil painting. Over the years, I would paint a little, then move on to other activities. I did not take formal painting lessons, however, until I was in my early 40’s. Despite my teacher’s instructions, I always felt the need to add more detail than required. One day, she jokingly told me that it was time that I left the class and started painting on my own because I was driving her nuts with the detail in my work. I did exactly that!

Print-St.MaryMagdalenWhen I first took at job as a legal secretary in Abbeville, Louisiana, in the early 1990’s, I was greatly inspired by the beauty of the historical downtown area. As luck would have it, I was commissioned to paint 2 scenes of Abbeville, one of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church and one of any other scene I wanted to paint. I produced one painting called “St. Mary Magdalen Church and Rectory” and one I called “Down Concord Street”. I was granted permission by the person who commissioned me to have prints made of these two scenes. I limited the edition to 100 each, and over the years sold all copies of these prints. They are still requested today, but I would never make more prints because that would diminish the value of the 100 limited edition. The only way to get a print now is to purchase one from one of my collectors.

Print-DownConcordStreetThe painting of these 2 scenes and the selling of the prints launched my painting into a successful business. The first print that was sold went to France as a gift. I went on to paint landmark scenes not only of Abbeville, but of other areas where I had lived or visited, namely St. Charles Parish where I grew up and beyond. I also painted swamp scenes, magnolias, and other things that realted Louisiana in some way. I painted scenes which touched people’s hearts, and I believe that was 100% the reason for my success. I attended local art shows but eventually began traveling to 7 states to exhibit and sell my work. I was even invited to exhibit and sell in France, Belgium and the island of Martinique. What an experience!

When the internet made it possible to easily sell to other areas of the world, I taught myself how to build a website (a 6-month project) and I began shipping products not only in the United States but to other countries, as well.

I am grateful to the purchaser of each and every painting, print and other artwork that I sell. It amazes me to this day that I was able to make a business of something I enjoyed so much. Thank you all!

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