Gwendolyn Franklin makes my blogging life real easy. I don’t have to write anything about her because she does a splendid job telling it herself. This blog entry is a special edition because Gwendolyn isn't only a coloring artist, she is an artist in the true sense of the word. When you see her original works, I think you'll agree.
I was born in Lincoln, Ne. My Dad joined the military before I was born and we got to in S. Carolina and Alaska before getting sent back to Nebraska.
I've lived in the Omaha Ne area since my family moved here when I was 7. When I was young, my Mom had always done ceramics with us. When I was in Jr. high, mom started selling Artex. This was paint that came in tubes with tips that the paint would come through, and you used them to paint on fabric that pictures were preprinted on. So I guess you could say art has always been in my life in one form or another.
I became a mother myself just before I turned 20, and my daughter and I lived with my parents for a few years, then moved into our own apartment where it was just the 2 of us.
It was then that I started school for interior design. One of the required classed was an intro to art class. Before this class, my pictures that I'd casually drew were a little child-like. I'd never had any classes and never thought I'd be good at it. After completing the class, I was amazed with what I could do.
I continued drawing on my own over the next couple years before I decided to apply to a commercial art school. I wish I had stuck with the interior design classes because there would have been a lot more job opportunities in that field.
Over the next several years, I held down many part or full-time jobs to make a living, but nothing that I loved doing like the art. I just couldn't seem to break into that field. Eventually, I got a full-time position at a high school with a good school district.
I met my husband in 2007 and we married 2 years later.
Currently, I work with the support staff at an elementary school.
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I bought our first house. After we moved in I kept thinking about my art. A friend and I decided to go to one of those places where you can have some wine and paint pictures in a casual class. We had so much fun that I began finding little painting projects at home. I was finally painting again.
I started painting small, paper mâché boxes. I had another friend at work who saw one of them and asked to buy it. From there it started taking off and expanded into larger keepsake, jewelry and prayer boxes. Recently I've been asked to do a few canvas portraits and landscapes.
I got into coloring books a few months ago. I've been dealing with stress and headaches and it was a way to relax my mind and de-stress at work on my breaks. I started with mandalas and I think those are still my favorite to do.
I also love reading and love listening to audiobooks when I'm working alone I listen to a lot of different genres, but my favorite is humorous fantasy. I love a great story with goofy and sarcastic humor.
My husband and I absolutely love going to anything that can be considered a carnival or festival. Things like Art or State fairs, or festivals like Octoberfest or Greek days will bring out the little kid in both of us. Live music and dancing is a favorite activity too.
We have 3 children, 2 grandchildren and 2 cats. Since we're empty nesters, these 2 angels are more like our babies. At least we talk to them as if they were our children.
Here's a picture of our 2 cats. We adopted them from the humane society a few months after buying our house. These 2 had bonded from birth and the NHS were hoping they wouldn't be separated. We fell in love with them, and these 2 angels chose us too. They sat up and started watching us closely from the moment they saw us.
This photo was taken after we'd coaxed them out of hiding with toys. Their names when we got them were Layla (black one) and Tayla (tabby) and we never got around to officially renaming them. I usually call them by funny nicknames because they make me laugh with their outrageous antics.
Take a look at some of Gwendolyn’s work: