By: Janna Kulisz, 2nd Place Winner of the 2022 Juried Autumn Art Exhibit

I was searching for a gift and found it and more… 

It started with a thought of what I might make to give someone. Just something small,  and I might make more than one if it worked out. I was in the craft department at  Walmart and stopped by the paint stuff. I picked up some paint and brushes, and then  I had to decide what to do with this stuff in my cart. I decided on a few things to paint,  stuff my son would call junk, so I knew I was not going to gift him with one of my  treasures I had just bought. This project worked out alright, so I went a little further  and bought some canvas. What now? I put some paint on the canvas and sent a photo  of my canvas with paint on it to the same son that didn’t want junk. His remark about  my paint on canvas was “Mom, this is nice, is it paint by number?” I took that as a compliment and followed my son’s  recommendation: practice, practice, practice! 

Now, after about three years of practice, the more I practice, the more I am drawn to  the adventure of putting paint on canvas. I have only gotten up in the middle of the  night for very few reasons: babies crying, sick spouse, and paint drying on canvas. I  have gotten up so many times to see how my painting looked at that point of drying;  it’s an adventure to watch. 

So now, I have experienced joy, excitement, surprise, helplessness, pride, humor, new  friends, and so much more from this journey I have been on. I am still amazed at what  happens when I put paint on canvas. I am excited to continue down the road and see  what the future holds for me and my paint on canvas. I am confident of one thing: I know there will be more rewards ahead, like joy, excitement, disappointment, and the list goes on. 

I am blessed to have those around me who encourage me to keep practicing. These  folks know who you are, and I thank you for your words of strength that continue to  push me forward.  

It is with great pride that I can say I AM AN ARTIST! 

I wanted to enter a painting in the art contest at THE CHAOS TRADING COMPANY in  DeLeon, Texas. I wanted a bright and happy painting for folks to enjoy, a painting that  someone might want to take home. I settled with the thought of our state, TEXAS. What would it be? Grassland, forest, woodlands, mountains, streams, dry land, oil,  minerals, oh my, we have it all, the beaches and ocean, and much more. Just try driving  across the state in one day while making a list of all our state has to offer. I hoped my painting would remind anyone of the great treasure we have in our state. I’m  grateful to be a Texan and hope TEXAS, OUR TEXAS causes others to stop and realize  what a great state Texas is to live in. 

When my painting finds its home, I want all that see it to go away with happy hearts and  feel the pride our great state gives us. TEXAS, OUR TEXAS. 

Janna Kulisz, 2022

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