I have a special treat for you today. My friend, Barbara Younger, is taking over my blog and I am proud to be showcasing her art. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom. There is a fantastic giveaway!
|Bee in Her Kingdom|
I always wanted to be an artist. What fun to live your days swirling colors across a canvas. But since I can’t draw, and I’m good with words and stories, I spent my professional years as a librarian and then a writer and teacher. On a lark a few years ago, I took an acrylic painting class. The color swirling began!
|Fruit in the Kitchen Bowl|
Just for kicks, I posted some of my paintings on Facebook. I was astounded when a friend wanted to buy one. At first, I thought he was teasing. Another friend commissioned three paintings for her child therapy practice. Another asked me to contribute paintings to a local charity auction. I sent my crazy sun to CBS Sunday Morning, and they accepted it. I was an artist by surprise.
|Estrella, Happy Under the Peruvian Stars|
As a writer, I know that character is everything. The story begins there. And so, when I paint, I think about the personalities of my subjects and the challenges they face. I give each painting a title that hints at the adventures to come. Here are “Ms. Bear Moves into the Oval Office” and “Penny Waits at the Station.” I always hope the beholder will imagine the rest of the story.
|Ms. Bear Moves Into The Oval Office|
|Penny Waits at the Station|
In 2019, our local historical museum commissioned my work for their upcoming antique toy exhibit. I named my collection of fourteen paintings “Toys Escaping.” Jama Kim Rattigan featured my series on Jama’s Alphabet Soup, which was a great moment for this new artist (scroll down to read the story).
|Snuggle Bunny Escapes the Nursery|
At art shows and sales, kids rush over to see my paintings. Grownups like them too, especially those who collect whimsical art or folk art. I’ve now sold over 165 paintings. I’m honored to be represented at Margaret Lane Gallery in my hometown of Hillsborough
I love taking on commissions. I listen carefully to understand what the person wants, and then give it my best spin. My friend Stephanie asked for a portrait of her family, each member disguised as their favorite animal.
|The Animals Set Sail|
I price my paintings modestly because I want my art to be affordable. I’ve donated a collection of paintings to Turtle Central, the gift shop of the Bald Head Island Conservancy. All profits go to the environmental work of the conservancy, especially the protection of sea turtles.
|Lucy Adds to Her Golf Ball Collection|
This summer, I received enthusiastic comments from art editors through a course I took with the Children’s Book Academy. We’ll see if I have a career as an illustrator in my future. For now, I’m happy and still quite shocked to be an artist by surprise.
On the porch of Margaret Lane Gallery
Barbara is holding
"Duck Sells the Farm and Joins a Band"
photo credit David Knox
Barbara Younger is the author of twenty books for kids and adults and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She sells her whimsical acrylics through art shows, galleries and shops, and her online presence. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her husband Cliff.
Thanks to Carol for highlighting the work of so many wonderful illustrators and for letting me have this space to share mine. You can see more of my paintings at BarbaraKYounger.com. Connect with me on Facebook here and follow me on Instagram here. Please email me with any questions at BKYounger@gmail.com.
Barbara is giving away her painting, “Bee in Her Kingdom” (10" by 10")! To enter, leave me a comment by 6 PM on February 19. MAKE SURE you leave me your email address if you are new to my blog. For an extra chance, please share this on social media. Let me know what you do.