Central Texas, Killeen, to be exact is not where one might expect to find an artistic community. Cows, yes and tanks and heat. . . but art? About 20 minutes to the west is Central Texas College and they have a fine arts program - a 2 year program and a place where I found some great teachers and some great friends which helped me to learn a lot about painting and art.
I took several classes and was allowed to paint both with acrylics and watercolors. In my experience colleges and universities have an odd and very annoying blind spot regarding watercolor. They don't offer classes in watercolor - all their painting classes use acrylics. These aren't the same and I wanted to grow as a watercolor artist, so I found this frustrating. It wasn't a problem at CTC though - the professors and instructors allowed me to choose whether I preferred watercolor or acrylic depending on the project.
I work really well in a classroom setting so this was a great opportunity for me. I can see and share with others about art, about a particular project or problem and this support helps me move forward. I was able to grow as an artist. I painted several subjects in Texas - one of them was cannas. This is one of my best paintings - I'm sorry not to have an earlier one so you can see the contrast. I found the leaves fascinating - they unfurl and have many different shapes as they do so. I also liked the striped leaves - it was great fun to let the reds and greens run into each other giving the leaves life and energy. I'm proud of this painting and at the time it was so exciting to see what I could achieve. It even won first place in a local watercolor contest!