Q&A with Splasher Cheryl Bowen

Cheryl Bowen1. Where are you from and do you live on Ambergris Caye or are you visiting?                                                                                 
My husband and I bought our condo on Ambergris Caye in 2003 and moved here, from San Diego, California in 2010.

2. What do you love about La Isla Bonita the most?

There have been many changes since we first came to the island and since we moved here full time. What has not changed is the warm and welcoming locals, the great sense of community and the rich environment.

3. What are your top three favorite paintings you have done at Paint N Splash? Answer with 3 pictures.

OK, I had too many and narrowed it down to 4!!

Garifuna Woman. I loved the colors and the texture of the background.

cheryl Garifuna lady

Jaguar. My favorite part of this picture is the eyes. I felt very accomplished when I finished this one!

Cheryl jaguar

Red Ginger. I love the whimsy, the colors and when I look at it I see a sense of freedom.

Cheryl red ginger

Girl on a Swing. Reminds me of childhood and the many children I have worked with through my career in education.

Cheryl swinging

4. What’s the most useful technique you’ve taken away from paint classes?

Not sure it is a technique, but what has been most useful painting and in life is the ability to relax, let go and have fun doing something I may not do “right” and being OK with the results. It is the process, not the product.

5. What keeps you coming back to Paint N Splash?

The incredible opportunity to continue to learn and grow and the support and friendship from Melody and the Splasher members. I look forward to the relaxation and sense of peace I usually feel! Sometimes old habits get in my way!!

6. Have you ever painted before taking painting classes with Paint N Splash?

Absolutely not!! It was just too risky to try something I wasn’t sure I could do and pretty sure I would not be good at! I actually (quietly) cried on the way to and during my first class!! But, I soon realized that we all have fears, especially of judgment, but that just does not exist in our group.

7. What do you do with all your paintings?

My husband put up peg board on several walls. I enjoy changing the paintings as I add more and more to the collection!

peg board

This is my current favorite painting I did on my own. I call it Family Tree.

family tree

These are two others I did on my own. Painted on rocks for door stops for a friend’s condo!

rocks rock

Note From Melody:

It’s really been fun watching Cheryl come out of her shell.  If you don’t know her she was a Principal for 13 years and a Teacher for 13 years before that and is extremely organized and a colour inside the lines kinda lady. For me it’s always been easy just to do things on a whim and splash paint wherever I want to, so to watch someone be scared of messing things up was very interesting to see. She quickly learned that white is our friend and we can easily clean up mistakes. One of my favorite Cheryl stories is about how her neighbour Micky walked outside and caught Cheryl with an electric sander, sanding one of the paintings we had done off the canvas board so she could do it again because she wasn’t happy with her original outcome! So she painted it again and mastered it! I truly admire her perseverance when it comes to painting and think she has really come a long way. Sometimes I catch her adding different things to her paintings and changing things up a bit and it makes me smile to see her paint outside the lines.  She may have learned a lot from me when it comes to letting go and just having fun while painting but I too have learned from Cheryl in the sense that I have become a better instructor because she always asks questions while we paint and wants reasoning behind everything we do in a painting, So now I just naturally say what we are doing and why.  Cheryl has now been painting a little over 3 years now and you’ll often find her organizing her paint supplies and re-arranging her paintings!