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Participant Information

Jennie Crump

City:
Columbia
State:
LA
Country:
USA
Essay:

Creativity has always been an important element of my life. Before my retirement, my company "East Going Inc." conducted group tours for senior citizens. One morning I woke up and asked myself this question. Is this the job I want to do for the rest of my life? The answer was clearly, "NO!"

The tours were physically demanding due to long hours. It required travelling away from home averaging one week a month. Time to spend with family and friends was put on the back burner. I wanted to change this. I particularly wanted to spend more time with my four grandsons, ages 7-10 years old.

I decided to tackle water color simply because I had the idea that it was difficult and I wanted the challenge. I found an experienced water colorist who owned a studio. She invited serious students to paint with her. She introduced us to different techniques, advised about the purchase of equipment, (brushes and paper). She encouraged us to be creative, finding our own style.

I converted my dining room into a studio because it has two large north facing windows. I try to catch the best part of my day to paint. The hours that I am most alert. I let the voicemail answer the phone. I play classical music on the stereo. Hours flow by pleasantly.

One satisfying thing about this endeavor is the end product. I do not discard any of my completed paintings, no matter how much I dislike it. After a while some I may have discarded are "keepers."

I collect beautiful, textured and interesting paper. I live on a farm and it affords a treasure trove of natural objects (grasses, seed pods, algae and drift wood.) Parts of a burned cotton picket distorted by the heat became a sunflower mobile. A large fish mobile was part of a 1940's airplane.

The time spent on the preparation, planning and painting of these pictures is time that I live in the present, at peace with my world, relaxed and happy.