The small suburb of Burien, WA had it’s own little winery. I approached them about being their Artist in Residence and was happy to have them accept my proposal.
All it really meant was that when they had their quarterly wine tasting parties that I would be able to set up tables with my art and spend the weekend painting and drinking wine. What a great deal.
I participated in their wine tastings for several years until they ultimately went out of business due to the death of one of the owners. I didn’t sell a lot of paintings but I did sell some and got a commission or two because of my time there.
The Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle has a great art walk that has been going on for decades. It’s one I particularly enjoyed because they closed down the main street through the neighborhood and encouraged artists to set up easels to do some painting.
I love painting in public but for this event I decided to let the visitors do the painting. I set up two large canvases and let people help create the paintings.
The children were particularly enamored by the opportunity to help create the paintings but there were more than a fair share of adults who were happy to help.
I knew that we wouldn’t be creating anything that was ready for display or sale so I had gone into the event thinking that I’d either just paint over and reuse the canvas, or would try to adapt them to become more of my own. Over the years since the event I have worked on them from time to time but haven’t ever gotten to what I would call a finished painting.
I’ve got them out in my garage and I’m sure I’ll pull them out again to keep working toward a final conclusion.
Certainly the biggest painting I’ve done is one to commemorate the wounded U.S. soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In this painting I placed one dollop of paint for every wounded soldier according to the month in which they were wounded. This created a 15 foot long painting with bands of color representing each month. The bands differ in width based on the number of wounded per month and with over 30,000 dollops of paint it creates a stunning look at the war.
This painting debuted in the West Seattle Art Walk and you can read more about it in this article from the West Seattle Herald.
The first time I ever showed my paintings in public was at the Normandy Park Art Show. I was more than a little nervous and I was both entering a painting into the competition and having a table set up to sell paintings. I sold four paintings and won a prize. Unfortunately, now I don’t recall whether it was first or second place in that first outing.
I brought along an easel so I could paint during the two day show. People were intrigued by my “Dollopism” style but at the end of the first day I hadn’t sold anything. But the second day really took off and I sold four paintings in my very first outing!
I was so happy to see the results of the competition and to see a ribbon next to my painting. I don’t recall for sure but I think in this first year it was a second place ribbon but that was fantastic to me. All of a sudden I was an award winning artist!
I entered paintings in several addition shows over the years and won a number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places along with several Honorable Mentions.
One of the really pleasurable aspects of being an artist is being able to gift paintings. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have friends who are interested in a painting, or two, and can actually afford to pay. But it’s also extremely gratifying to just give paintings away to a good friend and good home.
Some readers may know that I have a benign tumor on my spinal cord. But just because it is benign doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cause me some issues. Right after the neurosurgery that attempted to remove the tumor, I discovered that routine massage sessions were beneficial.
I ended up seeing Molly Gamble-Schutt for a number of years. She was extremely helpful for me and became a good friend. If I hadn’t moved away from Seattle, I’m sure that I would still be seeing her at least once a month.
I was so happy that Molly loved my paintings. I gave her a couple for her studio and was always happy to see them hanging when I went for my massage. And when it was time to move away, I gifted quite a number of paintings to her. I couldn’t possibly have taken them with me and I’m so happy knowing that they found a good home.
Here are just a few of the paintings that are now in Molly’s good hands.