After opening my house painting business in 1982, I found that business was slow over the winter, and I needed Christmas gifts for my sisters. I decided to paint oil portraits of their dogs using the paints and brushes given to me by an artist friend. I drew very detailed sketches of each of the dogs from photos I had taken myself (always a good connection there) 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. They opened up a world in which I had a lot to learn through trial-and-error, and talent was secondary to problem-solving. After I retired from house painting in 2014, I started painting with watercolors and acrylics, and only occasionally with oils; the water-based paints made it possible to finish a painting in a matter of hours, but the challenges were still there.

I published a series of short stories on Amazon about growing up in northern New Jersey during the 50's and 60's along the way. Seniors will especially be able to relate to those times when there were dirt roads, farms, and woods to play in, but there are also stories from 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

skipvanlenten@gmail.com 





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