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Exploring a New Passion… (Contest)
Thursday, April 6th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Sandra Marlow!

It’s weird, but I thought of myself as a writer when I began writing. “Author” was a title I gave myself when I published my first book. It was easy for me to claim those sobriquets.

Calling myself an artist doesn’t feel as easy or comfortable. And yet, I’ve sold many pieces to people who actually wanted to hang them on their walls. To me, it’s thrilling, but maybe it has to do with my mother whose birthday fell two days ago—and no, I’m not blaming her. She was a wonderful mother. It has more to do with my own confidence.  Now, she was an artist. She could paint very realistic oil paintings and did lovely watercolors and sketches. I pattered about with jewelry making when she was alive, but my art consisted of more crafty endeavors—using stamps and inks on things like tiles and dominoes. It wasn’t until she was in need of 24/7 care here at home, and my daughter and I were providing that care with assistance from nurses who stopped in a couple of times a week, that I began painting and doodling.

She never saw my work, and I know she would’ve encouraged me, but she wouldn’t have taken my efforts seriously because I don’t care about realism or learning “the basics” of color mixing and perspective, etc. Still, it almost felt like the passing of the baton when she left. Suddenly, I found my next passion (the first was writing!). I haven’t looked back, but I’ve certainly grown restless, wanting more time to do what excites me most.

Yes, I have a “day job.” Being an author is work. Editing is more work. They pay the bills, but one day, I would love to spend at least as much time painting as I do writing and editing. Of late, when my local art guild has exhibits, I volunteer to man the center to keep the doors open for the public, because, guess what? I can paint all damn day. Having time as opposed to having minutes here and there makes a huge difference.

Take for example what I accomplished this week:

These are pretty but quick. I can do them very, very easily. They take about 20 minutes each, mostly because of drying time.

And then there’s this, which I accomplished while I sat waiting for “the public” to walk through the doors. This took time, and I’m thrilled with the “depth” I managed with watercolor paints. I used 4 different colors on those yellow flower petals to get that 3-D effect. I was in the zone when I stroked that brush again and again, trying not to let the colors “muddy” up. And the leaves? Don’t they have texture? Can’t you almost feel them?

That doesn’t mean that if I have time I want to do more realistic or well-defined pieces all the time. I also worked on this:

I did the watercolor work at the art center but used my acrylic paint pens to finish up the doodle work last night and this morning. It took easily as much time to complete this as the flowers above. It’s not perfect, and I can see balance issues and so many things I would do differently if I attempt another. Still, painting this brought me joy.

So, yes, I’m carving out time to devote to painting. Time I could be writing. Sorry.

My question to you for a chance to win one of the hand-painted bookmarks above is, what is your passion? Have you found it?

23 comments to “Exploring a New Passion… (Contest)”

  1. Beckie
    · April 6th, 2023 at 10:01 am · Link

    Art being creative in many ways is mine. Not that I sold but one piece. I have many to finish too. After TBIs art is harder to finish. Most gnomes lately.

  2. Eileen McCall
    · April 6th, 2023 at 10:24 am · Link

    My creative outlet is quilting. I’m self taught and don’t use patterns, just what I make up. I’ve made dozens of quilts – for every niece and nephew and now their kids. I’ve also made them for my kids and for my grandchild. I am currently making baby quilts and donating them to the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia.

    Not creative, but my other passion is scuba diving!

  3. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · April 6th, 2023 at 10:25 am · Link

    I’m passionate about Black history. I can never get enough.

  4. Cindy
    · April 6th, 2023 at 10:26 am · Link

    Over the (any) years, I have dabbled in a lot of things. Jewelry making, needlework, painting, writing… Then real life hit and I started working. That was 50 years ago. I continued tinkering with the needlework (99% given away) and writing. I still write and have 5 completed books to show for it. Now that I have been laid off, or ‘retired’ as I am now accepting the word, from my last job of 26 years, I am still ‘debriefing’ from that daily grind. I miss my art.
    The voices have stories they are demanding to be told. I miss painting and drawing. I have pictures in my mind I want to do. I want to learn to paint in watercolors. I’ve done oils and acrylics, but never anything in watercolor. I have passion, but right now, other than writing, nothing else has been consistent. I want that to change.

  5. Delilah
    · April 6th, 2023 at 10:27 am · Link

    Beckie! Gnomes! My daughter keeps begging me to make seasonal gnomes for her seasonal displays. I’ve only done one 4th of July one. You could sell a ton of gnomes at craft shows!

    Eileen! My dd and I are going to undertake making our first quilt this coming fall. Something simple—and we will use a pattern because we don’t know what we’re doing. And scuba diving? I’ve always wanted to learn! Yay, you!

  6. Delilah
    · April 6th, 2023 at 10:29 am · Link

    Anna! We’ve been so lucky having you share some of what you’ve learned!

    Cindy! Many, many authors and painters have found their passion in retirement. It’s never too late! Watercolor can be easy and hard. You’ll see what I mean when you start. LOL

  7. Colleen C.
    · April 6th, 2023 at 1:26 pm · Link

    I used to draw, but I have not really done it in years… now that I think about it… I think I stopped after my grandmother passed away… maybe I will get back to it one day.

  8. Pansy Petal
    · April 6th, 2023 at 1:58 pm · Link

    Your “unbalanced” is my favorite picture here. It made me smile. I adore the yin/yang kitties.

    As for my passion – I have always had a passion for crafting, the fabric arts. From clothing construction to quilting, needle work (cross stitch and embroidery) to knitting and crochet. The past couple of years have been all about knitting and crochet. I always have at least one project going, usually more. I do socks, hats, mittens and blankets, with the occasional sweater. Almost all are donated. It’s a relaxing and, for me, fulfilling craft. However, I do plan to get back into quilting again. I have bins and bins of fabric I need to use.

  9. N.J. Walters
    · April 6th, 2023 at 3:27 pm · Link

    Writing is my passion, but it’s taken over my life for the past two decades. Trying to find another creative outlet. So far, none of my old crafty pastimes appeal, but I’m still looking.

  10. Sandra Marlow
    · April 6th, 2023 at 5:11 pm · Link

    My passions are genealogy and crocheting, though both took a hit during Covid. I’m trying to get back into them, but it’s been difficult. It’s been great to see your passion on the regular, so I know there’s hope for me!

  11. Jennifer Beyer
    · April 6th, 2023 at 8:50 pm · Link

    My passion is to learn new things all the time. I love learning all kinds of stuff. Sometimes all of that knowledge leads to something cool like I love making quilts! It’s such a fun hobby and is a great creative outlet.

  12. Heather Boyd
    · April 6th, 2023 at 9:36 pm · Link

    Your art is so wonderful. The cats one made me instantly happy. Love it. Doing art (and crafts) come and goes in waves for me. Writing is still my biggest passion and I do love creating art for my covers, but that’s also work. At the moment I’m journaling and putting stickers on everything. Second or fifth childhood in progress here. LOL Its not exactly art but it makes me feel good. 😀

  13. Deb Robinson
    · April 6th, 2023 at 10:55 pm · Link

    Beautiful paintings and love the backstory.
    Our parents have ways of influencing our future, both good and bad. I’m sure your mum would have been proud 👏

  14. Terri OConnell
    · April 7th, 2023 at 6:58 am · Link

    My passion is my writing. I found a book of poems I wrote in middle/high school and am proof reading them and typing them down. I also take time to write or edit my own stories daily. Maybe someday I’ll finish one to the point of actually letting a real person read one to see if I really have any talent.

  15. Stephanie
    · April 7th, 2023 at 10:29 am · Link

    I’ve always loved photography and since I moved back to my home state I wanted to check in classes for it. I love your art 💜

  16. Charlene Whitehouse
    · April 7th, 2023 at 11:26 am · Link

    I love to paint and photography

  17. Debra Guyette
    · April 7th, 2023 at 11:49 am · Link

    My passion is crystals. I am getting closer.

  18. BN
    · April 7th, 2023 at 4:52 pm · Link


  19. Debra S.
    · April 9th, 2023 at 2:29 pm · Link

    I have not found passion yet hopefully something will inspire me.

  20. Mary McCoy
    · April 9th, 2023 at 8:02 pm · Link

    My passion is volunteering and tutoring.

  21. Beverly
    · April 9th, 2023 at 10:06 pm · Link

    I love seeing what you paint. They’re always do nice. I’m passionate about my grandchildren…wanting them to do the best they can & trying to be a help to them as they grown & learn, teaching them the right ways to be towards others and hoping they develop some good manners along the way. I’m do t have any crafts that I’m passionate over…I’ve just never been a “crafty” type person. Just always tried to be a good person.

  22. Eileen Airey
    · April 10th, 2023 at 6:07 pm · Link

    My passions are reading, history,puzzles,Outlander.

  23. Delilah
    · April 17th, 2023 at 7:43 am · Link

    So many passions! I love seeing what you all love to do, and several of them are things I love or would love to try, too!

    The winner of a bookmark is…Sandra Marlow! Send your snail mail address to!

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