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My Daddy worked nights when I was very small. He was a signalman on the L&N and Southern Rail Road. I had to be quiet during the day so he could sleep. I spent most of my time in the shade of the front porch, hiding from the heat of the American South, with my much loved crayons and coloring book.

There was a color wheel on the back cover. Such beauty! My biggest disappointment was that I had only eight colors while my color wheel had many more. I tried cross-hatching. It didn't work very well. Why couldn't I make them? I had such visions of paintings in my head. But such frustration.

Worst spanking ever... There was a small store on my walk to school. They had a box of 64 Crayola Colors!!! I saved my lunch money until I could buy them. Then Mother found them. I guess she thought I had stolen them. I got the spanking first. Explanations later. Thankfully she didn't take them away. That was the only thing I really cared about.

I began selling my drawings to kids in Elementary school and switched to oils at age nine. By the time I was in High School I sold a commisioned oil painting to one of my teachers.

One of my early jobs involved working in an art supply, art gallery and frame Shop. I was buyer of ALL the art supplies! There I fell in love with pastels. Pure COLOR again. For several years I exhibited my work and won many awards while painting exclusively in pastel. Mostly seascapes... but everyone kept expecting portraits from a pastel painter. So I gave them a try and found I had a natural talent for it.

By the time I was 22, I was a professional portrait painter and back to painting in oils. What a job! I had other jobs, of course, but the best of them were all involved in one way or another with art.

Painting, teaching, working in an art gallery.

Owner, Phoenix Galleries and Framing, Mobile, Alabama

Assistant Curator of Education, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

Professional Portrait Painter

Illness forced me to give up my Portrait Painting Career and I did nothing but be sick for an eternity. Eventually I couldn't stand not painting at all. I was miserable. I decided to try another medium which is not as physically demanding.

Now, I'm blessed to be able to teach others what I've learned about WATERCOLOR! A new field to explore, learn and grow. Let's go!

patriceart.com

Watercolor Portrait of my cousin, Sam

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