Easy answer: My kids.
I said before that I’ve always been passionate about oil painting. I love museums. I’ve taken my family to many museums, especially to see the oil paintings.
I’ve taken my family to county fairs, state fairs, and other similar festivals especially to see the oil painting competitions.
Best of all, almost four years ago my daughter had the opportunity to play with her university wind ensemble at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
My wife and I were able to joint her there and we spent a few days seeing the sights. It was something I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do.
Our greatest priority while we were there was to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
One moment, of many, that I will never forget, was standing in front of Van Gogh’s sunflowers. I became emotional. Tears welled up in my eyes.
Painters have always held a special place in my heart.
Back to my story.
My sons are artists. My oldest daughter married an artist. They are all very successful. Their stories will be told later in this blog.
When my youngest son left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he had a little talk with me. He thanked me for his artistic abilities. He said that my passion for art was the reason that he had always studied and had made art a part of his life.
He reminded me how whenever we were watching television, and Bob Ross would appear on a PBS channel, I would insist that we watch the program until it ended.
So my son said to me: “Dad, I want you to make me a promise. I’’ll be serving a mission for two years. When I come home, I want you to be an oil painter. I want you to figure it out. Take lessons, do whatever you have to do, but learn to oil paint. You’re already half way there. You love oil painting, and you’re an oil painter in your heart.”
I made that promise to him. Now he’s serving his mission.
But things didn’t go well at first.
I went to a local art supply store (not the store from the previous story) and I was very discouraged by the price of the oil painted supplies. Our family was experiencing real financial stress, and I could afford to get involved in an expensive hobby. I was sad to think that I was going to break my promise to my son.
I was also discouraged by the first oil painting lesson I found on youtube. In this lesson, the painter first sketched his painting in pencil on his canvas, later filling it in with oil paints. I can’t sketch. I started looking for instructional videos on sketching, which I’m sure will help me, but I thought I had reached my final road block.
While shopping at Walmart one day, I came across a beginner’s Oil Painting kit, for twelve dollars. The kit contained little tiny tubes of paint, and a few cheap brushes and plastic palette knives.I bought the kit and was officially a student of oil painting.
Here's my daughter the night she performed at Carnegie Hall: