Artwork by Skip Van Lenten

Welcome. My name is Skip. I'm not a professional artist, but I've always enjoyed painting and drawing and created this site to share some of the things I've been doing over the years. I started painting in 1983 when I needed Christmas gifts for my sisters and decided to paint portraits of their dogs. Painting portraits became an unexpected pleasure over the years and even though I have worked on commission, most of my portraits have been gifts for my family and friends. The other paintings and drawings mostly came about as an effort to capture a particular scene and prints of some of these paintings are available at FineArtAmerica, or you can contact me directly at

One of my favorite watercolors, "The Neighbor's House," and a few samples of other paintings and drawings:

After opening my house painting business in 1982, I found that work was slow over the winter months, which was why I decided to paint portraits of my sister's dogs. I had no experience or training in art, but a friend of mine who was an artist gave me a box full of oil paints, a handful of brushes, and several canvas panels.  I drew very detailed sketches of each of the dogs from photos I had taken myself (always a good connection for me) and more or less filled them in from top to bottom. The paintings came out okay, but what surprised me the most was how much I enjoyed doing them. Painting portraits opened up a whole new world in which I had a lot to learn, and whatever talent I possessed was secondary to problem-solving and teaching myself. After I retired from house painting in 2014, I started painting with watercolors and acrylics as well, and only went back to oils occasionally; water-based paints made it possible to finish a painting in a matter of hours, but the challenges were still there.

I also published a series of short stories on Amazon about growing up in northern New Jersey during the 50's and 60's when it could still be considered a rural area. Seniors especially will be able to relate to the days when there were dirt roads, farms, and woods to play in, but there are stories in the book about later years that might appeal to any age. There is a commonality to our lives in these stories that I think might resonate with all of us, and I hope I have captured some of those experiences in this memoir.

The book is available here:

30 Stories and A Little Adventure 

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