It’s no great secret: I like pretty pictures. I love the way a painting can tell a story – and that the story is different, depending on the person viewing it. I’ve always admired artists – people who can tell a story, evoke an emotion, without a single word. To me, that’s magic of the highest order!

I also come from a family of artists. My grandmother was a painter. My father was a casual artist. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the back porch with him one summer evening, as he taught me how to capture the sunset in pastels. Dad tried to teach me how to draw, but I didn’t have the patience for it, not when writing came so easily to me. I could write stories that flowed onto the page without any need to practice or try, so why spend my time learning how to see as an artist sees?

Ok, so I was young and stupid. Those were the days! But I still held onto the mystique of the oil painting.

Several years ago, I was in a rut with writing, so decided to learn to paint. I bought canvas, paints, brushes, and a boatload of other¬†paraphernalia. I even played around and produced some truly abysmal paintings. No, you can’t see them. They really are that bad. Trust me.

So the brushes sat in a broken coffee mug my hero brought back from a business trip, gathering dust. The real kind, as well as the metaphorical stuff.

This morning, driving home after dropping my eldest off at art camp (did I mention I have artistic children too?), the creativity was flowing, and there were no words. Just this picture.

Don’t tell the local cops, but yeah, I sketched it out at a red light. Sometimes a creative has to do what a creative has to do. Then I came home, pulled the plastic wrap off a canvas I bought three years ago, and sketched it in real size. Oddly, the process of sketching and the plotting process I’m working through on my novel are very similar. I had never made the connection before this morning.

Here’s version one – just a background wash, but so far, so good. I’ll share more pics as it goes!