From the moment I finished that oil painting, I knew I had to continue to pursue my "art" journey. I was totally hooked! I was so lucky to have the Artistry Art Shop practically in my backyard. The owners provided classes on a weekly basis and also brought in accomplished artist from outside the area. I continued to take the oil classes, but I was also being drawn into the world of acrylics. Decorative painting was very popular at the time and I decided to try my hand at painting on wood. Once again I was hooked! I took a few class from the decorative art teacher at the Artistry, but I also found a multitude of "how to" books. I love to read and I love to experiment with different techniques and styles. I would encourage anyone striving to learn or improve their painting technique to look into the world of "how to" books. To this day, I love going to the bookstore and can spend hours checking out all the great art books and magazines. A word of caution here--- You can read and look at the pretty pictures all day, but without "practice" (that dreaded "p" word) you will never improve and certainly never achieve your own "style" of painting. I try to do something "artistic" everyday. Sometimes all I can do is a quick sketch or take a photo of a "project to be", but that keeps me in tune with my artistic side. It is so easy to "postpone" your art........ but I digress, let's save that for another day. Decorative painting became my focus for several years. I did a few good shows, but I mostly painted murals for private and public places. Believe it or not I actually ended up teaching decorative art at the very place it all started--that's right the Artistry Art Shop. I loved teaching and I do miss it. The Artistry closed a few years ago, when the owners retired. Decorative painting was on the decline at that point and my life took on a new direction. I did continue to paint for clients from time to time, but not as much as I would have liked. I finally reached a point where I felt I was no longer growing as an artist. I won't bore you with all the directions my life took me, but that paint brush was always nagging at me. I was full of "what ifs". I turned fifty last year, my husband and I both retired. I decided it was now or never and I'm in the process of trying to find answers to some of those "What ifs". I'm determined to "grow" as an artist. I want to get back to the "canvas" and pursue "fine art" or at least my definition of it. Next time, I'll share some of those "what ifs" and what I'm doing to find the answers. By the by, we are back in Indiana. I have much to do to get our home ready to sell, but I promise I'll be posting more on the pups soon. Comments and questions are always welcome---just post your questions in the comment section.