Thursday, April 24, 2014

Painting for Profit, What Drives An Artist

My first paid mural. Each wall meticulously painted with a detailed fantasy of a jungle. I was paid $300.00 to do it, and glad to do it too! Now that I look back at it, I was trying to prove something to myself. That I could complete the job of creating a fantasy painting all out of my head, all by myself. Nothing to do with the money, until after I saw what I could create.

I had a job teaching art in a jail. Long story, but the thing was, it brought me experience. I had very little painting and drawing experience before I started teaching. I always say that my students taught me. One, to practice, I did so many portraits of my students, a reward for them, practice for me. I also, talked my way into projects by saying I knew more than I thought I did. I built some confidence in myself. 

I had to make other people believe which made me believe in myself. I had to prove myself to my higher ups that I could do the job. I was so worried I would fail, but grateful for the challenge. Here is the first mural I did with the help of my students in the East Max Facility at Pitchess Detention Facility.

This is the only picture I can find of this mural. It was at least 60 feet wide and 20 feet high, That little box in the corner is a 2 foot x 3 foot speaker, and the reflection at the bottom is a stainless steel table the inmates use in the dining hall. My students did the under painting and I did the detail. Thanks to a certain Deputy for loving the murals in the facility, he talked the Lieutenants and Sergeants into allowing my students to come in and paint this with my instruction. I never told them I had never painted a mural, how hard could it be, right? 

Reminds me that's how I got the job in the first place, boy, did I need a job, only wanted to do art, studied art, and with just small fabrications, and little experience, I was allowed to have a job where I could learn as I went. In fact, that is what all my first jobs were all about. To learn life and to make a living. 


  1. Wow excellent job, these mural will make an exciting addition to your portfolio.
    Warren Scherich

  2. thanks Warren, they were done so long ago, not sure I can still count them as part of my portfolio, :-)

  3. Your work is so very beautiful! I just joined your blog. Love your etsy store too. I found you on On Fire for Handmade.

    1. Thanks Debbie, I joined your circle too!! Love your leather purses!