Country Church in the Field

This was my very first painting. I befriended an older gentleman, Mikey, while incarcerated in Terre Haute, Indiana: “A paraplegic lifer”. He is called a “lifer”as he has served 16 years of his life sentence. A hobby he developed the last five years was painting. He is a recreation employee and spends most of his days painting down in the recreation center. I helped him from time to time by pushing his wheelchair, helping him set up his paint canvas and suypplies, or to get his mail sent out. He invited me a few times earlier in the year when I first came in to paint with him. However, I had no interest in painting. Well nine months later, I decided to give it a try. He loaned me the brushes that I needed, and gave me a few canvases and I helped me to get started. I’m not an artist, or a good drawer. I learned to use a projector to trace the hard lines of the image I paint. Mikey only painted in oil paints, so that is what I have also learned to use. Mikey worked side by side with me for the first two months teaching me techniques and strategies. I learned a lot, but even more, I learned to have a new love: painting. It started out with wanting to give a tangible gift to my wife and children. The subjects I choose to paint symbolized memories that I have of us. My wife and I married 16 years ago. The first home we owned was in East Bradenton, Florida. This landscape reminded me of much of the surrounding area where we spent our first year. I learned much about mixing colors and perspective by painting this landscape. I greatly enjoyed this project! Upon completion I varnished and mailed it to my wife with one other canvas. I understand that someone else likes it too and am honored that it has been printed.