Downsizing (and Upsizing): Painting Happy!



Cliff and I will move into our new house within the next six months. As you can read in these posts, I’ve been downsizing for a while now. But in the midst of downsizing, we’re upsizing too!

We bought the painting above through Mike’s Art Truck, a traveling art gallery created by Karen and Greg Mack to promote the work of folk artists.  Read their fascinating story here. I love the mission!

Mike’s Art Truck brought the work of Bob Hart to the Hillsborough Visitor’s Center in late April. We loved meeting Bob, whose credo is to “paint happy.” Lonesome Balloons was our favorite painting, so we bought it for our new house. 

A few weeks later, Bob wrote to thank us. I couldn’t resist asking him to put together a few words for Friend for the Ride. I knew I wanted to post his wonderful painting.

Bob’s credo touches me since I strive to be an upbeat writer. I don’t sugarcoat life, and I suspect Bob doesn’t either. I just give life the most positive slant I can. But back to Bob. Here’s what he wrote for Friend for the Ride:

I paint Happy.  I’m happy when I paint.

The year after I retired, I entered one of my paintings in a local contest called “Art in the Air.”  Winners would have their paintings put up on billboards around town for a year. It was the first time I submitted any of my work, anywhere.  I didn’t expect to win.  My painting, “Young Girls Pick Them Every One,” was one of six selected. When I was called and told I was one of the winners, I was like a kid at Christmas.

Winners were treated to a nice reception and asked to speak about their painting. Four of the six artists talked about the angst they experience when they paint, and I know throughout history this is how many artists feel when they paint.

When it was my turn to speak, I told the group that I paint happy and that I am happy when I paint… angst, no anxiety, no despair,  just smiles and laughter.

Later that year, I attended my niece’s wedding in Columbia, South Carolina. Everyone was happy, and I took a lot of pictures, including many of the wedding party.  Emma, my niece, and her bridesmaids were beautiful, giddy, and happy. Their colors and their flowers and their smiles made for happy pictures, so I started painting pictures of make-believe wedding parties.

This painting, “Lonesome Balloons,” and others like it, was my next series of paintings, combining elements of  “Young Girls Pick Them Everyone” and the wedding parties. I started adding balloons to give some movement to my work.

I hope my paintings make you smile and laugh…..and make you happy.


Take a look at Bob’s website.


Thank you, Bob!