HThere is something free with no strings attached. Really. And it’s fun for all ages. Olympian Lorraine Donner, painter, friend, wife, mother, grandmother and volunteer, has created an avenue to channel one of her artistic talents. Their website, LD Paint Color Plus, is full of original sketches that you can download and use as coloring pages for free! Drawing inspiration from nature, travel and life, Lorraine features things like dancing couples, a trio of owls, and irises along a country fence. There is an abundance of choice, with new offers posted regularly.
Lorraine loves to paint, but along the way she came up with the idea of providing sketches that could be colored or painted by others. As with many stories in life, this happened in a roundabout way. Shortly after the start of the pandemic, a friend asked her if she would send a weekly card to someone at an assisted living facility nearby. Everyone’s sense of isolation grew and the importance of staying in touch with others was clear. The man who received Lorraine’s cards and his small paintings was delighted. At the same time, she noticed that a lot of people love to color, not just elementary school students, but people of all ages and for all kinds of reasons. Colorful people for meditation or to calm overactive brains.
“I could draw pictures, ink on them and do complex and simple sketches,” thought Lorraine. She could imagine people coloring her pictures. “Why, you can have your own website,” said a voice in her head. “I didn’t know how to do that! Laughs Lorraine, who uses a computer but doesn’t know anything about building a website.
With determination and a willingness to learn, Lorraine found GoDaddy and used the tech help available to her. In just over a week, the site was launched. Now her challenge is spreading the word. “My mother spent the last three years of her life in a retirement home,” recalls Lorraine.
“I think she really would have liked to color.” People only need an Internet connection, a printer and paper.
“I started drawing when I was in kindergarten or first grade,” recalls Lorraine. “My art has never been so far from me.” She was about to go to the New York Institute of Art after high school on a scholarship, but life came, and a career in art didn’t seem like a reliable pursuit. Shortly after, Lorraine married and had two children.
Throughout her life course, Lorraine painted. Sometimes it was the windows of the pediatric and maternity ward of the hospital. Other times he painted holiday scenes on the windows of local businesses. “I used my art to help local churches and advertising activities,” says Lorraine.
His professional life which spanned over 40 years was in human resources and later in real estate. It wasn’t until 2015, when she and her husband Bob moved to Jubilee in Olympia, that time for art would be available. Lorraine took watercolor lessons at The Lodge. She loved the smell and feel of acrylic and took to painting with it. Taking online classes and watching YouTube have helped her develop her skills. He still missed oil painting. She joined the Olympia Art League and took (pre-COVID) classes with Cal Capener. “I was a guppy in a pond of angelfish,” Lorraine smiles. Progress and inspiration continued to grow.
Recently, Lorraine signed up for a year-long painting program with Randy Sexton through the Tucson Art Academy Online. “He’s a great teacher,” says Lorraine, who enjoyed the private Facebook connection, the comments, and the way the classes are progressing. “Art got me through COVID,” she says. Class homework takes up hours of her time.
“I’ll paint anything and everything,” says Lorraine. On a day trip to Ocean Shores, she took a plethora of photos to use for future paintings. “I have an unlimited number of pictures to color, well over a hundred,” says Lorraine. When she’s not painting, there is a lot of work to be done in her fabulous garden and yard full of plants. She is also a reader and a volunteer.
Please forward the coloring pages link to your friends, family, or any person or agency who may find it useful and fun. Upload photos for your children, grandchildren, parents or for yourself. I guess there are some things in life that are free. Thank you Lorraine!