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When I was about 12 years old my senior neighbor across the street had a garage sale. Amongst all the old treasures she had laying out in her garage was an old wooden box with little tubes of oil paints. I can still remember the smell when I opened it! I scrounged up a few dollars and bought it...along with a stack of Harlequin romance novels.
Soon after my mom signed me up for an oil painting class. It was in the back of a house paint store. The instructor and everyone in the class was a senior woman. I was very nervous and intimidated and of course I stuck out like a sore thumb. We painted landscapes and I really enjoyed the class.
I also loved visiting my grandmother in her assisted living apartments, where she also took oil paintings classes. I still have a few of her paintings hanging in my home. It was from these women, that I first dipped my toe into the earthy rich pigments. I tried other paints over the years, I took long breaks from painting...but I always came back to oil paints. I love the smell of the paints, the transparency, the smoothness with which they blend, and the way the light dances between the layers.