I’ve been a doodler from the beginning, as soon as I was old enough to hold a crayon. Once when my dad was getting ready to remove wallpaper, I had the glorious permission to fill that wall with black crayon sketches over the old wallpaper. My dad kept some of those drawing, removing the wallpaper very carefully. In high school art I learned the very basics: the color wheel, composition, balance, lines, contours, and perspective. I enjoyed that, but wanted more.
After high school came marriage, then children. Visual arts went on the back burner, except for a rare drawing now and then.
Opportunity came when the nest emptied, opening a whole new world of magical exploration. Ideas flooded through me as I try to fall asleep at night, or when I wake up in the morning, or while I’m walking or driving somewhere, or when bouncing ideas against my husband. Don’t worry, he’s resilient. I love watching my ideas pop on the working surface. It’s magic to me.
I used to feel inferior being basically self-taught when it comes to using colors, whether using paints, pastels, or pencils. No longer. I heard another artist say he learned more about how to paint by walking very slowly though a gallery than he did in any art instruction. That’s a slow walk I’ve taken many times. Come enjoy the journey with me as you view my web site at www.annettecolgroveart.com.
Tressa Nichols – cover art for Levi Anders and the Gargoyle Mystery Contest
Tressa and I became friends when I moved to town. I met her at church. She said her first impression of me was, ‘I can’t be friends with her. She’s too perfect.’ Strangely enough, I had a very similar thought about her. I was looking for others who wrote, hoping to find some critique partners and a few ladies suggested Tressa. I smiled and nodded but thought, ‘Are you kidding? She’s too talented for the likes of me.’
The difference between the two thoughts is she must have looked at me at an odd moment when the stars aligned correctly or else she had an experience with the Twilight Zone, but I was totally dead on correct. Tressa is super talented in writing, editing, critiquing, drawing, picture taking, and the list goes on. Plus, she manages to do all these things while raising six children. Thankfully, we really clicked and became great friends.
A funny thing came from Tressa’s and my friendship. While we were on a writers’ retreat the end of February, we were talking about Tressa’s youngest sister, Jennie. I said that thought she’d get along great with my youngest brother, Jared. Well, Tressa and I decided that night that they needed to date, but Jared was in Indiana and Jennie was in Arizona. So we settled for them becoming friends on Facebook. However, that night we planned their wedding for November that same year. Remember we were on a writers’ retreat and spending tons of time making up great stories, so it wasn’t so very strange to come up with this off the wall idea. The good news is Jared and Jennie got married, but they didn’t wait until November that year. They married in October! I love being right.
Drew Tomasik – illustrations for Levi Anders and the Gargoyle Mystery Contest
I really wanted some illustrations in my Levi Anders book, but the people that I knew who could draw were either helping me with something else or too busy. My husband suggested I contact the high school and see if they had a particularly talented art student who might be interested in earning a few dollars. Drew Tomasik answered that call. Actually, the head of the art department answered the phone call, but Drew agreed to draw up the pictures.
Thank you to my family
Kevin is my biggest fan and I can always count on him to be excited about my books. Kevin appointed himself my manager and I looked to his opinion on everything from cover art to plot planning. He also came to my rescue many times as I got this website up. He’s a wiz writing code.
Jeffrey wasn’t interested in my stories when I started writing, but he would sit just inside his room sometimes and listen to me read to Kevin, except the kissy parts, then he would close his door. Jeffrey is however interested in keeping my books, my financial books that is. Jeffrey decided I should keep track of all the money I spend on writing so he appointed himself my accountant. Who knew writing was such an expensive hobby?
Vance encouraged me to dream big and let me spend way too much money on things like conferences, editing, cover art, and writer’s retreats. I hope one day I’ll earn enough to buy that fancy, smancy lawn mower we keep talking about and never actually get. And a boat, as long as I’m dreaming, a boat would be fun too.
My dad pushed me, then poked and prodded me to publish my writing. I suppose this whole thing started with him. My mom is an angel who earned a bazillions sets of wings putting up with me. Plus, she’s a a great cheer leader. And both of them have listened to me read more writing than anyone should ever have to listen too. And they still answer the phone when I call.