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About Me

@Sharon Durbin Graves,

A Funny Thing Happened 
On The Road to Becoming an Artist.

Creativity has been at the heart of me since, forever.

My mom was very creative and I was just one of her children and grandchildren who were swimming in the deep end of that gene pool.

I always thought there was an artist inside of me,
but I didn't know how to let it out.

And then, life got in the way.
I am a wife, mother of four, with four in law children,
and right now, 10 grand children.
That's a lot of life.

In 1999 I was diagnosed with scleroderma,
an auto immune disease that filled up my lungs with scar tissue, making it very difficult to breathe.
I was put on oxygen, was screened for a double lung and heart transplant 
and then,
 turned down.
Yes, I was turned down because at the time the Drs. all felt  this disease would take over my new lungs and heart.
I was losing lung capacity at about 3% a month.
I got down to 28% and they start to dig your hole about 26%.
By then, I was on oxygen and in a wheel chair and I knew my time was growing short.
I made my peace with dieing, 
but before I left this earth I had a bucket list of things I wanted to learn how to do.

I wanted to improve my photography
and I wanted to learn to paint.

I couldn't work, so money was very tight,
so buying supplies was difficult.
I had 40-50 raw dried gourds, so I decided to clean them and learn to paint flowers on them.
 I made them all into some pretty interesting bird houses.

Then I wanted to move into fine art painting,
so I took a two day class with Jerry Yarnell in Bardstown, KY.
I came home with a beautiful painting and I became a Kamikazee painter.
I started painting every day.
And it went on for years.
Painting every day.
Learning how to paint landscapes,
and on and on and on.

I'm still on that journey.
Painting most days and pushing myself way out of my comfort zone as now I'm learning to paint figures.

Over a year ago I got the bright idea to create a beginning online painting course.
Which I have done.

Click HERE to view the course
and the single subject iris class.   

I love painting and teaching others to paint,
especially beginners.
It's an area that I struggled in learning how to get started.
I'd love to be able to help beginning painters get started on a solid footing.

About two years after I was turned down for the transplant,
my lung capacity stopped going down and after hanging out at 28% capacity for about 15 months I began to improve,
I began to gain a percentage point or two every month or so,
until sometime in 2006 I no longer needed oxygen.
I still struggle exercising and going up and down stairs, but not nearly like I used to.
At the beginning of 2016, I made a decision to improve my health through exercise and nutrition.
I am still on that quest and I've lost 20 pounds,
and I don't think I've been physically stronger anytime in the last 17 years.
I did just get over the flu and pneumonia  and it took much longer than the average person would take getting better,
but I got better and am back in the studio.

No one gave me a prayer of accomplishing anything in the last 17 years,
but I have.

I'm glad you're along on this journey.


  1. Sharon you are a amazing fighter. Sounds like ART has had a healing effect on you.

  2. Yes Jacklyn, it has. I hope I have been able to spread that healing" feeling around a little too.

  3. Sharon, you are an amazing person and a great inspiration. Reading about your journey was just what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing your story and may God continue to richly bless you. :o)


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About Me

My photo
Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.