Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Carol Bray


 

From my earliest memories I was always drawing, painting and creating.

My mother eventually guided me to take home economic classes and I went on to pursue a degree in home economics education.  Family and life got in the way of my creativity until around 1986 when I took a basket weaving class.  I quickly became quite addictive to the entire weaving process.  So much so that I quit a teacher's aide position that I was currently employed in.  From 1987 until 1998 I traveled around the country doing art shows with my baskets.  Stenciling on baskets was quite popular and when I couldn't find the right stencil I wanted, I branched out and started painting freehand on my baskets.  I was amazed at what I was creating.  It got to the point where I all I wanted to do was to paint and not weave baskets any longer. 






In 2005, my husband retired and we started spending our winters in Florida.  We were staying at a great RV park that offered lots of activities.  I discovered that watercolor was being offered, but I had heard it was a very unforgiving medium and very hard to work with.  Finally around 2008 I got the courage to sign up for and invest in watercolors and I've never looked back.  I was drawn to it like a bee to honey.  All the classes were taught by volunteers in the park and I was mesmerized by all the wonderful techniques I was learning.  Just a few weeks ago I was one of the volunteers who taught a class on how to paint a red fox.  I couldn't find any information for me to learn how to paint one, so I just did my own from an actual photo.  It's one of my favorites and I named him Ever Watchful. 



My husband has been so very supportive of my art.  So much so that many nights we've eaten our meals on our lap while my paints and papers covered our small dining table in our RV.  I may be a late bloomer, but the one thing I'm enjoying is the fact that I can paint and create all I want and have no stress about it.  I just became Medicare eligible a few months ago and I figure any sales I make from my paintings is extra cash for traveling adventures.  I know so many younger artists feel more pressure to succeed at their art so they can make this their full time profession. 

My word of advice is to JUST DO IT!  That's what I did back in 1987 when I quit a job to pursue my dream and I have never regretted it.  Just remember, no one is ever to old to begin something new.  EVER!!

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful work, and your are so right, just do it. xox

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    1. Thanks Corrine. There have been times when I wish I had started painting earlier, but I'm grateful in a way that I waited until now because I paint for the love and enjoyment of it vs feeling under pressure to succeed.

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  2. Hi, Carol! I love your story, and your beautiful watercolor fox! Thank you so much for sharing, too!!

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    1. Thank you for the comment on my fox. I can't believe how attached I am to him! And so glad you enjoyed my story.

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  3. Love learning about your journey and following the paths that drew you in. Just beautiful work!

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    1. Thank you Amy! I wish everyone could enjoy doing something they love, then it would never seem like work to them.

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  4. Better late than never Carol. Its great that you have such a gift and you are enjoying it! And I am so glad you share it with us! Always look forward to seeing what you are doing!

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    1. Thanks Lin! I'm going to be off the radar for awhile while we travel back home from Florida and get our house ready to sell. But I've got so many more subjects I want to paint, so I'm hoping to get with it as soon as I can.

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  5. You are so talented Carol. This was a great post!

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    1. Thank you, Linda, for the wonderful comment. I'm looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks!

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  6. I loved reading your story, Carol...and the fact you travel around in an RV sounds such fun. Do you meet many artists on the road? I hear about a growing number of us "boomers" who are RVing it and making art. Sounds tempting. And with a clean medium like watercolor, very doable. Your red fox is breathtaking, and all of your paintings reveal your love of the craft. Brava!!!

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    1. Joanne, Thank you for the wonderful comment on my paintings. My husband and I have lived in our RV for 8 winters. We're currently in the process of getting rid of our RV and going back home to sell our house and downsize. We're on an exciting adventure because we honestly don't have any definite plans of where we'll live when the house sells!

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  7. I enjoyed reading your story! I just checked out your blog too. I loved it and your paintings are very cool! I love the colors you used.

    It sounds like we have a lot in common; flea markets, quaint shops, and shopping in general, RVing, and dogs--our Shih Tzu passed away two years ago (we still have a Mini Schnauzer and a Boston Terrier). We plan to get another Shih Tzu eventually and I have been thinking about naming her Molly when we do! In any event, I'm following your blog now, and look forward to reading your posts.

    Have a fabulous day!
    D~~~~

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    1. Donna, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your Shin Tzu. Dogs in general are such wonderful creatures and they add so much to our lives. Thank you for the wonderful comment about my blog!

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  8. Hi Carol, your work is delightful . . . great post, I enjoyed your story :)
    Connie :)

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