Peek at Paula’s: Watercoloring

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Peek at Paula’s: Watercoloring

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

With all of the stressors of day-to-day living, not including added stress of the unexpected, it’s easy to become worn down. We go to the same jobs, we eat the same lunches, and we have the same evening routines. But how do break up the monotony? It’s easy; ask yourself the following question:

What do you for you?

It’s an important question, because so often we all get bogged down with doing for others that we forget to attend to our own basic needs, emotions, and feelings. Are you stressed at work? Do you have issues in your personal life that are making you feel sad or depressed? And how often do you pay attention to these feelings?

Recently, Paula asked herself the same question and she discovered a myriad of new hobbies and possibilities! One of which is the art of water coloring. Her dear friend, Donna, was already an accomplished watercolor painter and offered to teach her how.

The two turned Paula’s dock house into a painting studio last summer; they opened the windows and let the breeze from the Intercoastal water inspire them. In only a few sessions, Paula felt more at peace with herself and was churning out paintings for her closest friends and family members.

Here are a few of Paula’s creations:

imageThis was Paula’s very first painting. It’s a portrait of her cat, Pumpkin, that she rescued. She loves the vibrant oranges and golds in portrait.

imageHere is another of Paula’s earlier works. It’s a portrait of a pig that she gifted to her niece Corrie. Doesn’t it have an adorable expression?

Don’t worry, folks. The moral of this story isn’t to run out and pick up a paintbrush. Rather, it’s about slowing down, and taking a moment for you. Learn to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you- big or small. Do you like to draw? Knit? Cook? Whatever it may be, listen to yourself, cultivate your talents and watch them grow. We guarantee that you’ll be glad you did.

So ask yourself one more time: What do you do for you?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Reader Comments:


I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you.You are such a great cook and a down right sweet person.God bless you and take care of you and your's always.Wish I could meet you in person but this old woman can't afford it, but will watch you on the computer.Love to you-all.Nellie

By Nellie Shannon on August 15, 2014


Hi Paula, Just loved the watercolors. I go out in the yard and work in my gardens. When done I sit in a comfey patio chair, have a tall glass of lemonade( your recipe for strawberry lemonade)and just shut my eyes, let out a long sigh and enjoy my time alone.

By Sharon Grant on July 05, 2013


I like you, Paula, like to sketch with water color pencils. Most of my pictures are of nature, because I feel closer to God in that environment. After all he did create everything. I also love to bake, especially cookies and cupcakes. To play around with recipes and also make truffle candy. I love to give most of it away to friends, family and to a center for women in the area. It is a center for abused women and their children. So a group of us have a baking ministry and we donate goodies for the mom's and the kids, who call us the Grandma's and Grandpa's. Yes we even have men baking for the center. This is the most rewarding way to give of my time, talent and an easy way to relax and do for myself. My husband and I love to go fishing and boating. This is our way of relaxing and being together to enjoy something we both love, nature and the great outdoors.

By Joyce Henkel on June 19, 2012


Hey Paula; Thanks for sharing your beautiful paintings with us. For years I longed to paint and went as far as to buy paints, brushes and canvasses, but I was too afraid to even pick up up a brush and try. Eventually I overcame my fear and decided to release my inner child and just have fun and play. With no formal training, I just did my own thing, relaxed and let the creativity flow. Last summer, a friend who lived on the marsh, invited me to her home where we set up our painting supplies beneath an old carport overlooking the marsh and had a blast even in the blistering July heat. I used acryllics on canvass and did a painting of palm trees on the marsh and another abstract acryllic painting of flowers and leaves inspired by a paper dinner napkin. I eventually placed them on consignment at a local gift shop, where surprisingly they both sold! I have since done some folk art type paintings on recycled wood. It is so encouraging to find a hobby in which while I'm doing, I enjoy so much that I lose all track of time,& that other people can enjoy as well. I don't know if you remember it or not, but a few years ago I made you a small painted canvass that said, "Never trust a skinny cupcake"; and mailed it to you. I finished it off with a wire handle decorated with old buttons and beads. I hope you've enjoyed it. I too waited till I was over 50 to start my new hobby, but I think it is one that will bring me much pleasure in the years to come. Keep us posted as you do more paintings. Your Lowcountry Friend, Lolita

By Lolita Hayes on April 29, 2012


After towing the corporate line for 20 years and being a caregiver during the loss of a husband to leukemia, I decided to spend some 'me time.' Tipsy Mermaid Art is my love and my peace. My home studio allows me to create beautiful and whimsical pottery that is function and decorative. I also paint in acrylics and hand craft. It is so rewarding when Tipsy Mermaid Art makes new friends on Facebook and they tell me which piece of pottery they like best. I'm so glad that Paula has found another outlet for her creativity. Do not doubt that while she is enjoying watercolors, she will continue to develop her artistic medium and continue to show the 'artists voice' that we have all come to know and love. We are so excited for you, Paula. Enjoy!

By Kathy McInvale on April 29, 2012


I totally agree about doing somethimg for ourselves just for pleasure and fun! Last year I had a similiar experience with a dear friend of mine from church. She was living in a small cottage on the marsh and even though it was very hot and muggy last summer, we went out to an old carport that overlooked the mars and set up painting stations and started painting. Neither of us have had any formal training, we just had a relaxful fun afternoon. We used acryilic paints on canvas, but since then I have also painted on recycled scraps of wood. One of my paintings was of palm trees on the marsh and the other was an abstract painting of flowers and leaves; inspired by a paper napkin. I recently sold both of them at an area gift shop where they allowed me to sell my art on consignment. I have discovered a new passion & hobby and it makes me so happy that others appreciate my humble art.

By Lolita hayes on April 29, 2012


Bobby, all of your recipe look awesome and I have watched your mother cook for years now and I am glad to see that you have cut those fat calories. But I have celiac disease that I will have the rest of my life, just like your mothers autoimmune disease. The real trick is to make those dishes that are gluten free so that those with celiac can also enjoy it. Now that I have been diagnosed with it I am not so likely to watch anymore cooking shows and that would not make me or my husband (who loves to cook) happy. There is a large part of the population now that are finding out they are either celiac's or are gluten sensitive and restaurants are coming to the forefront with a gluten free menu. Recently, I had an idea of opening up a small cafe that caters to people who are celiac's or wheat and gluten free. Please consider finding out how you can expand on your menu. Thank you, Shelley

By Shelley Graci on April 28, 2012


Paula, I've been painting several years in WC and am still learning. There's a book by Betty Edwards, "Drawing on the right side of the brain" which I recommend to students, although the subject is drawing, the main thrust is about seeing. Learning to see is the secret, I think. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck and I'm sure the pursuit of it will bring much enjoyment. Gerald Dennis

By Gerald Dennis on April 27, 2012


It's about time you gave to yourself after so many years of giving so much to all of us. When I'm not sitting with a good book, my favorite 'me' time is doing 'Hand Embroidery'. It's a lost art that was handed down to me by my Grandmother and Great Grandmother. Very few people in this day and age do this anymore because of monogram machines, but I just love it. It makes a great gift (I do mostly pillowcases) to give to the women of the family to help keep the heritage alive. Every time I start a project, I feel like my Grandmother is in heaven smiling down on me. Love you Paula!

By Malissa Fariss on April 21, 2012


I totally agree with taking time out for you. Im 45 went back to school online and it's stressful. I make jewlery so that's my relive. Your paintings are very cute you should frame them!! Oh and don't worry what people think if your type 2 it's your business. I'm type to so I know what your going thru. But with Bobby showing you ways you can enjoy food and still save calories. It's also about blood sugar. I really enjoy his show it has really helped me alot.... Take care, Shelley Parker

By Shelley Parker on April 21, 2012


YOU GO GIRL!!!! Enjoyed your first book, enjoy your cooking TV programs. You always make the kitchen the greatest place for family gatherings. You're a true Southern, I know 'cos my Mama (who will be 90 in July) is one also. Keep us smilin', and keep up the good work. God has bestowed a wonderful talent in you, and your boys. Luv it luv it luv it. Thanks for all you do ~ Diane

By Diane West on April 19, 2012


I love to paint in acrylics. I've done some oils and watercolors and fabric painting. I really love colored pencil. It's portable you can take them everywhere. I love quilting. I love taking art and quilting classes.I want to learn to airbrush and many other forms of art. I just get lost in art sometimes and it's a great place to be.Unfortunately I have to work fulltime and don't get to do artwork enough. You ought to join Decorative artist their headquarters are in Kansas and every year they have a convention somewhere in the US, where you meet teachers and people from around the country and the world. I just wish I could retire so I could paint, quilt,cook,bike,walk more, and garden all the time.

By Debbie on April 19, 2012


HI Paula, I enjoy watching your cooking show & inner actions with son's & friends that cook with you. Things from your store make me happy. I love the lovely dishes with the fruit bought recently. Next I plan buying your Country Bible cook book. Best Wishes, Genny

By Genny on April 18, 2012


Paula, you have so much talent. Cooking, design, and now painting! I am so envious of people like you. God Bless you and keep up all the beautiful work you do, behind your stove or in your boathouse. You have it all!!!

By Connie Diebold on April 18, 2012


Dear Paula & Staff: In September 2011 my Dear Friend was told she had ovarian cancer and when she told me I said to her, "I will never say to you that you are a sick Lady but one who is to have "Maintenance Treatments" (chemo) done in order to remain in good health. I knew that she would be receiving phone calls, calls and letters and flowers and maybe even candy but I asked God to help me and use me to help her to laugh, as the Bible says that laughter is good medicine. I did not have a clue what it would be that I could do to cause her to laugh but I knew God did and I trusted Him. One day while reading the paper words and advertisments seem to stand out and be in my face and I realized what my assignment from the Lord was to cause my sweet friend to laugh. I also realized that it would not just be a one time thing that I was called to do. It was an assignment of joy that I was on and so thankful I am that God trusted me to carry it out. I put a piece of plain white paper on the table and I cut from the newspaper words and sentences and advertisements and anything colorful that was a little out of the ordinary perhaps and glued them to the paper, using a theme or thought that I prayed would cause her to laugh. We do not live in the same town and I decorated, if you will, the envelope as well. Of course I recognize that what I was doing was child's play but being only 72 myself and her 78 we didn't care. Besides I knew it would be a winner because it was God ordained and would not fail. I had His Promise! When the doctors told her that her cancer was a borderline 4 that was not something any of us wanted to hear but we immediately took our request to the One who listens to the burdens of our hearts and is our Healer. I began by mailing to my friend, what I referred to as my Creative Art, on a daily basis and sometimes she will phone and be laughing so that I can hardly understand what she is saying. Of course she lost her beautiful hair and what a laughing time that has been! Yes, she has had tough days after her treatments but by laughing those little endorphines were running around inside her to reach the areas that needed to be touched by the chemo to start the healing process. What an example to so many she has been! On March 15, 2012 the "Maintenance Treatments" were completed. A short time after this date, my Precious Friend, Angie Stone, was declared by her doctor and test that were run, to be Clear and Cancer Free!!! What A Miracle! An Answer to Prayer! An Awesome God We Serve! Of course her hair has not yet returned but no bother because she is very much enjoying her wigs. Her energy level is not 100% back as yet but it will return, in time. During this journey we, as friends for more than fifty years, were drawn closer to our Lord and each other and we just though we had laughed a lot during these years. Never once, when I asked God to help me to cause her to laugh, did I dream that all the blessing would be mine! Must tell you though, I never doubted her healing and even when we did not know what the doctor would say, I kept doing my Creative Art work and even mailed one of Congratulations that she received the day after she had been to the doctor and got the good news. While I did not consider what I did to be a hobby and did not have the thought of doing it for what I could get out of it, believe me all the good and wonderful things that could come my way have done so in just knowing that God Heard My Prayer and Answered It. I have written to Paula before several times and I too am a diabetic and want her to know that I pray for her on a regular basis concerning many areas of her life. Staff, you do a wonderful job and thank you... Patsy Fellows

By Patsy Fellows on April 18, 2012


I knit Prayer Shawls. It gives me quiet, prayer and contemplative time. I started this ministry at my Church after I retired. Our ministry has given over 300 prayer shawls since we began. We also do Christening Blankets for our newest members.

By Frances Davis on April 18, 2012


your pictures are beautiful...... i too have taken up painting about 11/2 year ago... but the part that uplifts me most of all... a little lady approx 80 years old... survivor of breast cancer.. gives the lessons for 5.00 for 3 hours....... and she is an awesome teacher and guider... yes we must take the time out time... thank you paula........ bless you

By annette jackson on April 18, 2012


i too have picked up painting.. i started about 11/2 year ago... i love it... so calming.... and the lady that gives the lessons is in her 80s and gives 3 hour lessons for 3 hours 1 day a week....... she is an inspiration to me....... anyway yes we should take time ...we should relax ... thank you paula for sharing.. you pictures are beautiful...

By Anonymous on April 18, 2012


I love to cook and entertain. I took up painting many years after school, so I can really identify with Paula. Painting, cooking and other fun things like horseback riding are lovely. You become immersed and totally relaxed.

By Christine Kimball on April 18, 2012


I enjoyed your article about painting. I'm trying to make a blanket. I'm learning to do granny squares. It's coming along but slow. Hsve a great simmer. Liz weber

By liz weber on April 18, 2012

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