Rapid Progression

It seems like an eternity ago, but it’s not even been two years since the original shutdowns began in 2020. With that in mind, it was only then that I started my painting journey.

When people hear that I’ve only been painting around a year or so, they can hardly believe it. Some think I’m joking. However, when you look at the examples below, you will see that much changed over a few months time.

What really got me started was the fact that, as a pastor, I could not visit with any of our congregation. Not only would they not come to worship together, but I wasn’t allowed to go to their homes. It was sad, believe me. Therefore, I started sending out greeting cards.

But one thing that became obvious early on was the fact that pre-made greeting card companies were not prepared for COVID. They didn’t have anything that said, “Hey, dear church member, your pastor is thinking of you!” So, I ordered some blank cards and started drawing and writing my own.

As I continued to send these cards the little drawings started to get more complicated. They went from stick men to miniature paintings.

The watershed moment came when one of the ladies in our church asked if I could paint a portrait of her sister’s dog. I honestly did not know if I could or could not, but I agreed to try. When I gave it to her she was so excited and asked me what she owed. I had no idea what to ask, so I said, “It doesn’t matter, really. Just whatever you think it’s worth.”

She gave me $50 and a used watch. I was happy with that. I’d never been paid for my art before, so yippee!

But the moment that sealed my fate, the moment that I discovered painting might be worth seriously pursuing, came next.

In our area there are a lot of old church buildings. I went to a funeral at one of them, Balerma Baptist, and thought the setting was so pretty. I went back a few days later and took a photograph of what might look good as a painting. Then, I went home and did my best to duplicate the photograph.

As you might imagine, I was quite pleased with the results! And, like any other normal person would do, I posted a picture of the painting on Facebook.

It wasn’t long before I got a message: “Would you want to sell that painting?”

“Umm, sure, I guess” was my reply.

“How much do you want for it?” asked the lady.

Having no clue, and having only sold one other painting for $50 and a used watch, I replied, “Whatever you think it’s worth.” Wow, talk about an novice response! I had no clue.

I thought I had run the lady off until she replied a day later with: “How about $150?”

I had to think about it, of course . . . . . . . . for as long as it took for the initial shock to wear off. “Uh, yeah. That’ll be fine.”

That’s when I realized I might actually be able to paint. It still amazes me.

Published by Anthony Baker

Husband, dad, pastor, artist, and musician. Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006 (no joke!). Loves coffee (big time), good movies, and sarcastic humor. Holds a Doctorate in Ministry. Most importantly, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to Him! Matthew 5:16

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