MEET THE ARTIST
The compliment that resonates with me the most, and the one that I am most proud to receive is, “Your art makes me happy.” Perhaps that is because the process of making art makes me so happy. It is a joy and a privilege to be able to devote my days to painting in my little attic art studio with my two golden retrievers and two cats lounging along side of me. It really is as idyllic as it sounds and I am eternally grateful for this opportunity.
I was raised in the Mississippi Delta in the seventies; a unique place and time that has imprinted an appreciation for the beauty of the south – land that is flat for miles but jeweled with fields of white cotton; meandering bayous of cypress trees and an abundance of wildlife; shotgun shacks with rusted tin roofs and beautiful old churches around every corner and my mother’s garden filled with dahlias, roses, zinnias and a big old magnolia. Certainly, the Delta provided a lifetime of inspiration that continues to find its way into my paintings.
I have “played” with art my entire life. I took private lessons off and on through grade school and high school, even taking lessons with my dad from Miss Ina Mae Webb in Cleveland, Mississippi; however, I consider myself primarily self-taught and still learning.
By college, I had set a course for myself in business and then in law. I retired from my law practice in 2015 and have since devoted myself to art. I can’t describe the joy that it has brought to my life.
People often ask, “How long did it take you to paint this one?” I still don’t have a good answer because it’s a process. The process begins with constructing cradle boards, thin plywood attached to a wooden frame. My husband and I construct them in our garage. After they are assembled and sanded, I usually apply burlap or cheesecloth and then cover the fabric with gesso that I mix myself in different formulas depending on the texture desired. After the gesso has dried, the panel is sanded and is then ready for paint. Sometimes I make sketches of what I plan to paint and sometime I just begin painting with only the image in my head. Some days the paint flows (that’s a good day) and some days I spend hours painting, only to paint over it and begin again. That’s the process, and that’s why I still don’t have an answer to “How long did it take to paint this one?”
I enjoy painting flowers, animals, churches, cotton, barns and the like, all in bright, happy, colors. You can follow me on Face book and on Instagram (@willssargeant). I try to make it to Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta every couple of months and I’m working toward offering my art as prints, note cards, and on fabric for pillow covers, etc.
I appreciate feedback so come along and follow me on this wonderful journey and I hope my paintings make you happy!