The oil painting Minette Richardson has just begun is a self-portrait of herself and her friend Ann.
Titled "Friends," it is a realistic painting, so Richardson started with a sketch.
"For abstract work, I might start with a squiggle," Richardson said.
She sketches or squiggles with chalk, pencil or charcoal depending on the subject, even though paints do not readily top charcoal.
"There are a lot of things you aren't supposed to be able to do in a lot of fields and art is one of them," Richardson said. "Sometimes you can discover the most amazing effects in mediums that are not supposed to be mixed."
Once thought to be a no-no, now the mixture of water-based acrylics is done. It produces different tone when light reflects from it.
Although Richardson has a studio in her home, "Friends" is the first painting she has had the chance to begin since the co-op gallery she founded, Down the Street Art Gallery, opened two months ago.
"I think sometimes we use these things as excuses and there are really no excuses other than the ones we make up," she said.
Her brush dips into black oil paint and she briskly darkens the pure white canvas.
"We were camping in Winter Park, Colo. and the sun was just beginning to rise. Dawn's light left the mountains in deep shadow," Richardson said, explaining the story behind her current painting.
A drummer is the first subject Richardson recollects painting.
"I was in a private kindergarten in Indiana and I painted basically sticks, arms, the drum and a face," she said. "The teacher thought that was kind of outside the box when most kids painted houses."
At the next school open house, the teacher had Richardson in an artist's smock and beret, standing before an easel with her paints and told her to create.
"I just couldn't come up with another cool painting, so finally I painted a red brick house with a yellow sun and a tree," Richardson said, then laughed and shook her head.
As a young mother, Richardson painted at home to support her family, but her creativity found another outlet as a hair stylist and entrepreneur.
She owned Minette's Place for 20 years. Then when her parents fell ill, she left her clientele to care for them.
Circumstances forced her to choose between rebuilding her clientele and realizing her dream of starting a gallery.
Minette's Place is now Down the Street Art Gallery.
Richardson is Down the Street's artist/hostess on Sunday, Feb. 25.
Name: Minette Richardson
Mediums: Pen and ink, oil and acrylic
Advice to beginning artists: Don't be afraid. Just do it and keep doing it.
Motto: I am not really afraid of anything, change is inevitable and I love it.
Why large canvases? I have always liked windows and open spaces. I guess it is my way of bringing the outside in.
Why Payson? I've been a gypsy for many years. I saw Payson on my way to California, but while I was here I met a man and we fell in love. I went on to California, but he persuaded me to move back.
Upcoming project: In-house Down the Street contest for rendering of the building that will be used on our brochure.
Music to paint to: If it is something big, I like rock 'n' roll.
Hobby: Traveling and reconnecting with friends.
Point of contact: Down the Street Art Gallery, 703 W. Main St., Payson (928) 468-6129