How I First Started Painting

How I first started painting and why I created this site.

I first got started painting 25 years ago. I wanted to learn Decorative Painting rather than fine art.  I can highly recommend starting in the Decorative Painting field for a few reasons:

  1. It is less intimidating than other forms of painting. (at least it was for me)
  2. You can get started painting on a relatively low budget
  3. What you learn will go far when you decide to go into other forms of painting.  (this I am finding out in my Impressionistic Painting courses in oils and full-bodied acrylics I am personally taking now)
  4.  You learn how to paint on many different types of surfaces other than just canvas.
  5. You can create all kinds of gifts for family and friends that they will love.
  6. You can sell your work at different markets, local consignment shops, and online. People still love hand-painted furniture, signs, and other things. (try to find out what is trending)

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Painting Programs

Does anyone remember The Carol Duvall show on HGTV in the 80’s/90’s?

I loved that show and she had different guests doing all sorts of crafts and art. One day she had Priscilla Hauser on the program and she demonstrated her method of painting lovely flowers.  I loved it and wanted to learn more!

Circumstances prevented me from pursuing it at the time but in 1997 things changed.  I learned that a craft store nearby was going out of business and was selling off its inventory.

I made sure to attend the sale and ended up with a few Donna Dewberry painting books for $1 a book. (they did not have any Priscilla Hauser books or I would’ve purchased some of hers too)

The budget was tight but even I could afford $1 a book.

I bought some of the paint colors and started to practice, practice, practice and that is how I started painting.

Wal-Mart, at that time, carried a full range of Folk Art Craft and DecoArt Americana paint colors, One Stroke brushes and mediums which was very convenient.

Sadly, Wal-Mart has severely reduced its craft section and no longer carries the range of colors or brushes so I rely on JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby, or Michaels for my craft paints.  They all have great sales.

What I liked about the books was Donna used a limited assortment of colors so it was not a huge investment in the paints or the brushes.

I still use these Donna Dewberry brushes. They are good quality for an affordable price but I buy them on Amazon or directly from Donna Dewberry’s site.

Would you like to see one of my first pieces?

It is so old I did not have a digital camera so this is a scan of a traditional film photo of one of my signs.

Yep, pretty rough looking, and my lettering stinks but I was learning and now I wish I still had this sign.

I actually sold this on eBay way back when.

I had an endless supply of reclaimed boards and shingles from my dad’s roofing business so my costs were low.

Selling my signs paid for my paints, brushes, and any new books I wanted to help me to expand my skills.

As you can see below my roses only vaguely resembled what they were supposed to look like but I kept at it and slowly improved. I learned to hide my mistakes.

In this sign below I added purple flowers (wisteria) to hide some ugly spots on my roses.

The Welcome stencil was a major improvement to my early attempts at hand lettering.

I created signs as that is what sold quickly and seemed to be in demand. I find that is still true.

Especially when you can get better at lettering, people love customized signs.

In 2002 I took a certification class to teach the One Stroke method of painting but I also continued to venture out into other methods and melded them all together.  

I found some Priscilla Hauser books along with some from Roz Stallcup and learned even more from them, doing this helped me to create my own style and methods.

The short answer to how I started painting is from books, and videos along with trial and error.

Now I offer my own painting tutorials, some for free and some are paid workshops.  My goal is to share the love of painting and all the benefits it gives. I have lots of painting tutorials on my YouTube channel here so go on over and subscribe.

There are many things I can now paint but my favorite is roses.  For some reason, they just make me happy!

I am adding more painting lessons and videos all the time.

Many of you have followed me over from Flower Patch and for that I thank you.  Creating an art-focused website has been a goal of mine for a while and I appreciate all of you that have been so supportive of that.

I wish you all Happy Painting!

Please enjoy and share!

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  1. Your story is awesome! Your roses are so pretty, love your lettering also!
    I began painting in elementary school, no formal lessons, just looking at greeting cards then trying to re-create them on paper. After traumatic events in my early years, 10 and then 13,14 years old, I used painting as therapy, I also taught myself how to play piano! Fast forward many years, troubling times, single motherhood, working multiple jobs then finally college I was diagnosed with rare illness. After becoming disabled, losing house, car, job, I picked up the paintbrush again 🙂 Painting is great for emotional peace, sensory pleasure and passes the time pleasantly! I look forward to seeing your new stuff, and all the videos I can find both here and YouTube!

    1. Yes, Lisa it is a great therapy for anyone that needs an outlet. I wanted to mention that many have been able to give up anti-depressants once taking the path of painting but was afraid it could send a wrong message. When I finally delved into painting myself it was at a time I really needed something to save my sanity and it worked, so I hear you when you say it is great for emotional peace!

      1. Yes, sometimes what works for one person does not work for another and people are so judgmental these days…but I am glad it worked for US 🙂
        I am a left handed painter, so I get to spend more time painting the flower in reverse in order to perfect the strokes sometimes…but it is rewarding to see progress. I love your first painted signs too! That rooster is adorable!

  2. I love how you step by step the tutorials of different things you paint.It is so enjoyable to learn this way and in my own time. Please keep them coming s I look forward to every post you do. Thanks heaps Cheryl.

  3. Good morning Pam, Love your story! You mentioned Carol Duvall whom I also loved and was prompted to look her up. I can’t believe she actually has a show on HGTV right now. I am trying to find her schedule I can’t wait to see her.

    Love ya!

    1. Really, now I wished I got HGTV, I need to look up how I can get it on Roku. We gave up on cable and dish awhile back and have not missed it. But now I think I am missing something. Thank you for letting me know. Her show was so inspirational.

  4. Beautiful Story…. I love your tutorials! I’m still new at this and enjoy going back over and over, when I’m having problems with a stroke Thank You ! Enjoy all of your Posts 🙂

  5. Your flowers are beautiful! I am mostly a landscape artist, with a few portraits and abstracts in the mix. Have been in the arts since age 3. The best part of painting is being able to make things that will ruin a beautiful subject just vanish, by not painting them into the painting. Your flowers are incredible, and am very happy to have found your artwork! You have a true gift of creating beauty!

  6. Pamela,

    I have just started painting on glass. A friend introduced me to alcohol inks.
    But, I have discovered I like the Folk Art
    Paints and glass. Your painting are beautiful and I have found with my health challenges I can paint a rose.
    Thank you so very much for the free tutorials and making your pricing affordable.
    Ps love your website, gardening tips

  7. Hi Pamela, I came across your artwork while searching online for painting on glass. I’m a beginner and your online tutorials are great for a beginner.
    I love the roses on the wine glasses and carafe. I’m using these for wedding and anniversary gifts.
    Thank you for your time and sharing your art knowledge.

  8. Carol Duval was my go to place and I loved it when she brought in different artists..I happily stumbled across you as I am looking to paint some yellow roses for a friend of mind…her mom passed away and she loved yellow roses..didnt realize there were so many different versions of roses……

  9. Your roses and other flowers look so real, first time I saw your work thought of Donna Dewberry but couldn’t think of her name. Think I still have one of wipe off practice boards could buy.
    We also got rid of Dish about 4 yrs. ago now, got fed up with paying for so much never watched & all the deals were for new customers not loyal stand- by’s. Haven’t really missed Dish but do miss History Channel and getting to see Chip and Joanna but not enuf to have to pay Dish. Now that extra money goes for medical bills since Humana was bought out.
    Had forgotten about Priscilla Hauser til read her name here. Loved Carol Duvall show and certain other craft shows. There were so many wonderful shows with very talented people, now it’s all decorating.
    In 1992 we moved from San Diego out to 20 acres in MT where I discovered HGTV. Was alone great deal out there with hubs on road so started watching craft shows, oh my what an enlightenment. Sometimes would stay up all hours practicing what had seen. Am a night owl, get going good about 11:00 p.m. A whole new world had been discovered in my viewpoint.
    Have always been on side of creativity even as kid, sewed, decorated our house, made cards. My Dad was oil painter but sadly didn’t inherit his talent but creativity was big activity besides boys, school and friends. My Mom worked 6 days a week so decorating wasn’t something she had time or energy for. She supported us all thru my high school years since my Dad was too sick to work. No disability in those days, 50’s.
    Used to crochet but arthritis has taken that away from me, learned other arts to keep active in crafting. Still sew, paper crafting, some furniture redo’s, making some signs and spending too much time on pc.
    Your signs are so great, too bad you don’t have them to enjoy but have photos to show how far you’ve come. Guess practice does make skilled. Now you can teach painting, makes you feel it was all worth it? I sure do admire your persistence to learn more and accomplish your own style. Also admire your skill and talent. Doing any kind of creativity takes my mind off unpleasant things in life.
    Have wonderful weekend.

    1. Crafting is great for quiet time, or for getting through the times that are too quiet…I taught myself how to play piano after a traumatic childhood event, then had lessons at 13 yrs old, I play in churches, for weddings etc…it is wonderful! I picked up a paintbrush at age 7, never had lessons just painted the flowers on the Christmas cards my Mom would get from relatives each year. Then I started adding my own color blends to it…Painting and music has taken me through many tough times, now after being diagnosed with a rare disease I am disabled and spend alot of time watching artists, thank you for having your videos up, you are very enjoyable!!

      1. Learning by trial and error is great, you get to know how the paints work together. Learning more from others and how to create is enjoyable for me, I like learning all sorts of ways to do the same thing.


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