By Julie Loomis

Word on the Street Issue 40, February 2024

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I started coming to the Homeless Art Collective to give me something to do. I dabbled in painting pictures that someone else drew. I never really thought I could be a real painter. I also love photography and thought that would be my contribution. It is amazing what we can accomplish if we try.

I started trying to paint a landscape with watercolors and it wasn’t bad. Then I started watching videos on watercolor painting techniques and was drawn to the Asian style. I was very pleased with how it turned out. I kept practicing different painting styles.

I was also stunned how others reacted to my paintings.

I still concentrated on my photography and I felt more confident in that. I also drew pictures on some jeans to raise money for the shelter. I was happy they sold. I even painted some other jeans and made a little money. I was just happy that the people who purchased the jeans liked what I did.

I kept painting some better than others. The shelter wanted some art for another fundraising event and I had a picture, and a few of my Asian paintings. Boy was I surprised that it sold for $150.00.  

Now, I feel that I can try and become an artist. I am already starving, so I can only get better. I am so thankful that I have been provided the space and supplies to get started. I am even sketching some of my projects.

I hope this may inspire any person to just pick up the paint brush or camera. I am glad I finally tried and will keep working on improving. Thank you Critter (Art Collective Director) for pointing out my talent and encouraging me. I am also happy I joined Interfaith Sanctuary’s Project Well-Being program because I met Nicky, who gives great encouragement too.