Roses

My Life


    I was born in a small town in northeast Mississippi in 1945. My family moved to Memphis when I was four.  I had a very normal childhood,a brother 4 years older and a brother 9 years younger.  Our family attended a small Baptist church in our neighborhood.  I loved going to church and it was there I met most of my friends.  There is one special friend that I still see on a regular basis.  Life was very simple then,summers were spent going swimming nearly everyday with my friends and reading everything I could get my hands on.  Winters were spent attending school, football and basketball games.

    Art was not an important part of my life;however I was intrigued by anyone who was artistic but never felt I had any talent in that direction.  My mother is a very multi-talented person.  She made all of my clothes,took wonderful care of us and was also a great cook.  Daddy worked two jobs to help make ends meet.  We lived in a neighborhood where everybody knew everything about each other and would drop by often just to visit.  After we got a car we would go to visit my grandparents back in Mississippi every other weekend.  

    I met my husband Tommy in high school.  When I was in the 7th grade I was greatly taken by an older man in the 9th grade.  He was captian of the football team and word had it he was shy and didn't like girls.  However,I was not deterred.  I spent the next 3 years batting my eyes at him.  It didn't seem to do much good since he didn't know I was alive and had never even spoken to me.  Finally when I was a sophomore I got my chance.  While I was waiting in line with a girlfriend to buy a ticket to a basketball game,(a very long line)he came up and asked my friend to buy him a ticket.  We could only buy 2 tickets each and she was already buying 2, so naturally he turned to me.  I agreed and he said he would meet me right before the game.  My chance had finally come.  We met at the designated location before the game and instead of him asking me to sit with him, he offered to pay me for my trouble.  That silver tongued romeo.  Well a week or so later he called and asked me out.  On our 3rd date he asked me to marry him(now this was more like it)but since I had just turned 15 I figured it would be a few years.  

    Tommy and I dated for the next 5 years.  While in college Tommy didn't have much money so he would occasionally clean a neighbor's house to make date money.  I can't believe it because ever since we were married he claims he knows nothing about cleaning.  I BELIEVE HIM.  I attended college for 2 years and then quit to go to work because I didn't like sitting home.  Daddy wasn't very happy about this but I thought I knew everything back then.  

    A week after Tommy guaduated we were married.  We rented a brand new duplex.  When we got back off of our honeymoon,we moved in.  Our furniture consisted of a coleman ice chest, a mattress on the living room floor since it was summer and thats where the window air conditioner was.  We also had 2 pictures Tommy painted by numbers on black velvet.   Tommy FINALLY went to work and our life took on a more normal tone.  A year and 1/2 later our oldest son Tommy III was born.   Tommy quit his job at the tire factory and took a job teaching and coaching.  Our second son Bart was born and I found myself at home with 2 babies 20 months apart while Tommy was gone much of the time coaching.

    My sister-in-law who painted came over one day and we decided to paint a picture together.  We finished it that day. Now it takes me two months to finish one. The picture was not great but I was hooked. I started painting every spare minute. If there was no time during the day, I would stay up at night and paint. I never intended for anyone to see my work, much less sell it. This went on for the next fifteen years. Then one day, I don't quite know how, I was selling my art. To tell the truth, I couldn't figure out why anyone wanted to buy it. Oh well, no accounting for taste. A few years later Tommy and I decided to self publish my first limited edition print. It was a very educational experience. The main thing I learned was that I wanted no part of printing and selling my own work.

    Since that time I have been with first Somerset House Publishing Co. for eight years and have been with Newmark Publishing USA for the last six years. I am also with Leisure Arts in Little Rock who publishes cross stitch patterns of my pieces. The kids are now grown and married. The very best part of getting older is those wonderful grandchildren.

    I would like to say that my painting is always wonderful and inspired but like anything else, at times it is labored. I start a painting full of hope and joy. Somewhere in the middle of the painting I go into a state of semi-depression. I cry and have been known to throw a painting across the room. I must give Tommy a gold star for living with me all these years. Then the painting progresses into a new phase. Several days before the painting is finished it seems to come alive to me. By the time I finish it, I think it is the best thing I have ever done. This lasts until I start my next painting and the cycle starts again.

    I want to thank my Saviour, Jesus Christ for giving me such a wonderful life. He has blessed me far beyond any dreams I ever had.