Gabriel's Masterpiece is a very special painting. It was the first painting Cheryl had created in over 30 years. She had done some commercial style signs, lettering, and drawings...but nothing this elaborate. Her tools were very sparse. After 30 years of raising kids, all she had left were a few paintbrushes, some old paint and paper, and blue masking tape for the margins. Nevertheless, she was driven to get back into painting. And the subject matter was something she was passionate about. Here's how the picture came to be.
Cheryl, her daughter Natalie, and Gabriel headed out to a nearby field. The were looking for a large field of cotton. They couldn't find one, so decided to take it in a small patch of hay. While the painting looks like it's a large field of hat, in actuality, the hay drops down into a red clay bed a scant 30 yards away. Still, for the effect that Cheryl wanted to paint, it was perfect.
Cheryl sat down at the easel and began to paint. As Natalie was taking the photographs, something magical happened. (It usually does with Natalie behind the lens.) Gabriel became curious about the easel. As he inquired more and more about it, Cheryl did what grandmothers do. They encourage children to experience life. Gabe crawled up in the painter's chair, and began to paint. That moment is the inspiration behind this painting.
My biggest artistic influences were my great uncle and my cousin Christine. My great uncle worked on a Clay medallion sculpture portrait of me. My cousin Christine showed me how to shade. The sun coming through the window on a candlestick. She said to look at the candlestick us if it was a photograph negative. That made sense to me.
I never really did decide that I wanted to be an artist I just was.
The advice I would give to other artists. Inspire each other. Find artists that fit and can carry each other along with positive feed back. That is what will keep you creating, painting and drawing.