Jen Richards

Wildlife artist

Why I paint

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Today brought an experience that reminded me why I do what I do. I love marine life (surprise!), love to paint marine life, and hope that my work can inspire people to care about marine life just a bit more. I also hope that through sharing my art more people can experience the joy that can come from painting the things you love.

I was recently told by a family member on my husband’s side that she’d shown my paintings to her animal-loving niece, who has special needs. She said that her niece had loved my work and that it had inspired her to start painting, which is a huge compliment for any artist. I was actually able to meet this girl today, and she presented me with this:

A gorgeous painting of Keiko!

A gorgeous painting of Keiko!

I was beyond touched. To have inspired someone to pick up a paintbrush is one thing, but to actually be given something they did as a thank you is simply wonderful. Not only that, but Keiko was an orca that was close to my heart (as he was for a lot of us), and being able to bond with her over our connection to this particular animal was especially lovely. This will be going up on the wall of my studio for those occasions – us arty types all have them – when I may need reminding of why I paint. Thank you, Elaine!

Author: Jen

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