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My first painting



"Donna's Flowers" oil on cardboard ©1969 Bjlane

My oldest sister handed me the small group of flowers left from her very first bouquet. The earthy-smelling carnations were beginning to show signs of their inevitable demise. A gift from the boy at her very first high school dance, they now would be memorialized on a special piece of cardboard that my father had cut from a cardboard box, and the leftover paint from a paint-by-number set (the very first set of oil paints I'd ever owned).

With the cardboard on my lap, a small brush in my hand, and miniature cups of liquid pigment sitting at my feet, I sparingly applied the paint onto the brown surface. I chose to paint the flower blossoms first, fearing they would soon be brown and wilted. Soon I realized the vase holding the flowers wouldn't fit on my predesigned substructure. I improvised. The oddly lopsided vase was created to fit my need.

When the flowers, stems and vase were front and center, I began adding the delicate bedroom curtains. The floor mimicked the paint-by-number floral, which I had completed just days before. I was 13-years-old. This was my first original oil painting. In my young mind, I just KNEW I had created my first masterpiece.

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