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The Jump to Oils

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." -  Vincent van Gogh


It was January 2020, the pandemic was just a few months away. Life was calm, it was winter break for my kids. I had received a set of oil paints as a Christmas gift – and I was feeling brave. This can’t be that hard.


Boy was I wrong. I was completely in over my head. My first few paintings were a bit messy.

I had just spent the last 6 months teaching myself to draw – so I was bit uncomfortable using color again. Maybe if I take a reference photo and make it black and white – that might be easier. I took the photo, made it black and white, and cranked up the contrast.  I looked at the photo – I saw the blacks, whites, and grays in between and thought, I can paint that.  

The Reference Photo

The Painting


I couldn’t believe it – I did it. It worked. I went to Goodwill to find some more glassware. More filtered photos, more paintings, every day, I couldn’t stop.


Ok, let’s add color. Start simple, just a few colors.

And like magic it happened. I was an oil painter. I did it.

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