At long last, I have achieved my childhood dream of being a Caribbean artist.
I enjoyed a long career in technical photography, but I retired early to pursue my childhood dreams to become an artist. I have now completed more than 200 quality oil paintings on canvas since my retirement less than 10 years ago.
In Barbados where I was born, I discovered my artistic skills and developed a passion for drawing at an early age. At the same time, with the gift of a used camera, I developed an interest in photography and became an avid amateur photographer. With no opportunities in sight for a career in drawing in Barbados I was persuaded to enroll in photography classes.
At the age of 21, I immigrated to the United States with the help of relatives. My goal was to further my education with a major in art, but without American citizenship the cost of education in New York was beyond my reach at that time. So, I joined the Air Force which appeared to be my best option.
I enjoyed my work in photography during most of my four years in the Air Force, but in the meantime I grasped every opportunity I could to study and develop my artistic skills, including attending evening classes.
After my discharge I found that making a living in art was ominous, so I joined the staff of Hughes Aircraft Company in California where I was a Technical Research photographer. Throughout my 28 years at Hughes, I continued to hone my skills by attending art classes at the Arts Center in Pasadena. Unfortunately, I found that work and raising a family of a wife and two active sons left no time for painting and that resulted in a further postponement of realizing my dreams.
Now, thanks to early retirement and independent adult sons, I can devote my time to my brush, canvas and passion. At home, all available wall space is devoted to my work -- a feast of color. Brilliant tropical greens, parrot reds, cheerful yellows, and warm browns punctuate my paintings. My mission is to show to the world the colorful people and places of the Caribbean as I see them.
My advice is, never give up on your dreams.
Copyright © 2004 by Romeo Downer. All rights reserved, worldwide. Used with permission.
I can be contacted at: Romeo Downer, 28153 Hot Springs Ave., Canyon Country, CA 91351. You are invited to visit my Caribbean Artist website at CaribbeanArtist.com.
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