A Painting Makeover and a Happy Ending, by Jay


Growing Up Austin


Growing Up Austin

Life has been a mess and I can’t fix everything, but I decided I would fix the three blank canvases that had been hanging up in our loft for two years. I showed up at my friend Jay’s house with the blank canvases, a bag of brand new paints and printouts from Art.com.

The printouts were in two categories: 1) paintings I felt like I could recreate – a big blue square, a geometric pattern of thumb print smudges and a single swirly flower and 2) paintings I actually liked.

Jay threw out the category 1 printouts. She was serious. These paintings were going to be amazing.

She talked to me about the paintings I liked, then she placed the canvases next to each other on the table and went to work. She was in the moment, focused,  inspired and passionate, grabbing paints of all different colors, rolling, brushing and dripping, moving so fast she was all a blur.

At one point she paused and asked if I wanted to be doing more of the painting and I said no way, it was too much fun to watch her. This was after I did the first pass at the blue flowers, which is why they look a little funny.

She didn’t plan it all out, she went with themes I liked and with a few accent colors that would coordinate with our room. She worked in layers, talking with me now and then, to see where to go next.

While she was painting, she told me a story.

She had wanted to be an art major in college, but her Dad had said ‘no’. He didn’t want to pay for a college degree and then have Jay unable to find a job. So, Jay was a Communications major (with an Art minor) and she got a job in business after college.

Oh, no! Her dreams ended so early!

But wait, her story wasn’t over.

Now, Jay has a serious career with a successful company. She is happy to have the options and stability that comes with that. She does business for her day job and painting for fun. Sometimes she even thinks her Dad might have been right.

So, maybe The Onion was right in its recent article titled, “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights and Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life.” Can that be true? Are you asking me? The one who writes on nights and weekends?

I don’t have any answers here. All I know is that I just got the best deal on paintings that has ever happened. I have shopped for art before and it isn’t that much fun. What are the chances of finding the right size piece with some of the right colors and a style that feels good? With Jay, I picked the canvases, the colors and the themes. Then she made amazing, custom paintings in just two hours. Everyone that comes to my house now needs to go to the second floor loft first, because the paintings are so fun to show people.

I told Jay that she should do this for money and she said sure. If you might be interested in creating custom paintings with Jay, send me a note at carol@growingupaustin.com and I’ll get y’all in touch.

One more note before I go – there is a new venue in town,  The North Door, that is home to a unique mix of musicians and performers. They are having a series of kid-friendly happy hours in April with live music from musician+Mom, Elizabeth McQueen. Details – April 15, 22 and 29, 6:00-7:30, 501 North IH 35, cover $5. If you are looking for something new to try, check it out!

Getting to Know You

(Jay, The North Door and Elizabeth didn’t pay for a mention, I just felt like talking about them, that is all!)