Happy Monday, y’all! I am so pleased to introduce Lou Davenport, a brilliant Louisiana artist who I had the pleasure of working with at the Masur Museum of Art. Always smiling, this lovely lady is such a joy to be around, and her paintings are absolutely beautiful. I have selected a few of my favorites to add along with her bio that I think shows off her sparkling personality. Enjoy!
A little Bio for Lou:
I have been an artist most all my life. I guess it all started when I was very young playing in the dirt, creating all kinds of roads and cities. I also loved to scribble and then moved on to coloring and did not want color books. I wanted to color my own pictures. I loved to draw. Since I was an only child, it was how I “entertained” myself. I drew all kinds of things but for awhile, because all I could think of was “having a horse” I drew them! Then, I started drawing people, which is still my favorite thing to draw. I love an interesting face, not necessarily “pretty” faces, but faces with character. I started painting when I was in high school in oils. I continued to paint with oils until my first child accidentally knocked my palette on the rug and Prussian Blue ruined the rug! I got interested in watercolors then and pretty much taught myself how. I lived in a small town in North Mississippi and there were no teachers nearby. I got books and I finally came up with my own technique that was more like acrylics than watercolor. I just couldn’t get “the hang of all that wet in wet” techniques. That has been my medium since, acrylic. I like to use bright colors and paint objects that are “every day things” or whatever strikes me as interesting. Recently, I got out my pencils again and started drawing again. Then, I added Prismacolor pencils. I really enjoy them. Both mediums take a lot of time, but, I love them. Helps keep you focused and are great “therapy!”
I did major in art in college for awhile, but eventually got a degree in Education. I really think you could say I am “self taught.” But, I’ve also learned many of other things that I never was formally educated in. You are either an artist or not. You have to love it. You have to practice it. It’s like something you CANNOT not do. It’s like playing a musical instrument, you have to practice to get better!
I’ve had several jobs that allowed me to work around the arts. I was Curator of Education at the Masur Museum of Art for about 9 years. It was challenging to say the least, but, I met so many nice people who still remain my friends today. I next had a gallery in downtown Monroe with my son and daughter. Art Crawls were fun and we had a place to give lessons there. Even had birthday parties. But, we finally “threw in the towel” due to lack of sales. It was hard to sell when we were only open once a month and those Crawls were a lot of work for nothing much in return. I then worked briefly at “Painting with a Twist.” I loved the teaching part of the job and had a lot of fun with the customers. Next, I took a job at River Oaks as their art teacher. I LOVED my students and it was definitely the most challenging job I have ever had! I found teaching high school students, although they are very creative, I definitely had to find things they were interested in or I was not going to be very successful. I learned to be flexible and when needed, we would study what ever I could keep them interested with. I did not have many materials to work with and a small budget and no support from the administration, but, I am still proud of what my students did create and hopefully learn. I left after 2 ½ years and am now retired. I finally have the time to paint and draw full time. I have also have a great new “adventure” I am on, writing. I have always loved to write and have said so many times, I need to write a book about “that,” but never in a million years saw me doing it professionally. I have a new column that will debut in the October issue of Bayou Life magazine. “Simply Lou” will be a monthly column and I have been given artistic and creative freedom! That is something I have never had in a job. I will even be illustrating each column! I am now at a very satisfying and interesting time in my life. Getting older isn’t bad at all. I’ve lived through a lot of hard times but also many good ones as well. I have had to bury a good husband and divorce a “not so good” one. I have learned many lessons, often the “hard way.” I have quit jobs and I have been fired (over the phone) once. But, I laugh about it now. Just part of life. My children are grown and I am very proud of each one of them. Knowing that I have raised 3 good and decent grown ups tells me I am a very good Mom! I have more fun with them than anyone else I know. We are very close and that means the world to me. But I also know, it is now “MY” time and I intend to make the most of it!