I started taking art lessons when I was twelve. I had the most wonderful teacher, an artist named Gail Dyess. When I was still a kid, I told her I wanted to learn how to do illustrations and character drawings. She didn’t assume I was too young to learn–she taught me how to do it. Mrs. Dyess started teaching me watercolor lessons in eighth grade. I continued classes with her until I was 18 and then I studied art in college. But after I graduated, I got busy with life and stopped painting and drawing.
Last year, I decided I needed a new creative outlet. I have cherished memories of my Mamaw’s beautifully decorated cakes, so I took a few months of cake decorating classes myself. I had a great time, but I felt like I didn’t enjoy making gum paste flowers or fondant figures like I thought I would. Then…my friend Indira sent me a video on cake painting. By that time, I had already pinned a few painted cakes on Pinterest. I was intrigued. One afternoon this summer, I decided to give it a try, and I was hooked! It was just like painting with watercolors. It took me right back to those classes with Mrs. Dyess and the excitement of a fun art project.
My friend Carie asked me to bring a painted cake to the Denver Woman’s Press Club holiday party on Monday. I chose the illustrations of E.H. Shephard from the classic Winnie the Pooh stories as inspiration and created a storybook cake. I freehand painted the images on fondant with food coloring. It was my first finished cake. Words cannot explain how nervous I felt about it, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. And I’m so grateful I have such supportive friends!!