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Saved by a Paintbrush • by Jamie Mills-Price

My art saves story began around 22 years ago in May. I was widowed at the tender age of 26, with a 6 1/2-year-old son and 7 months pregnant with another. My husband of 8 years was killed in a logging accident here in the Pacific Northwest.

Gripped by grief
For over a year I was trapped in the grief of losing my best friend, husband, and father of my two sons. I would visit his grave daily, taking my sons with me. I could not escape the grip that my grief had on me ... the despair and depression was overwhelming.

I had always been a happy, positive, optimistic person. A good friend saw the path I was heading down. She encouraged me to go with her to a painting class, I had no idea that I could do it because in the seventh grade my art teacher told me that I had no talent for painting even though I had dabbled in artistic endeavors off and on all my life, and grew up with a very artistic father.
Painting myself happy
I enrolled in a tole painting class and I was soon hooked! I would lose myself in my painting - I found I could escape reality for a little while when I held a brush in my hand.

I would step into another world where life was not so harsh and I could paint myself happy! Somehow it worked. I went from taking painting classes and then I began teaching it to friends. From teaching I dabbled in design, as my students asked me to create designs for their “found” surfaces.

I began publishing my designs and to date I have published 16 books and co-authored several books, 2 DVDs, numerous magazine articles, and hundreds of individual patterns. I have been fortunate to travel the world teaching my techniques to painters and showing them how they can paint themselves a happier person.

Helping others
I have been blessed to have so many people over the years tell me that my painting books have saved their lives - that they can escape into another world and forget their woes, as they paint my designs.

My story has come full circle ... art saved me ... and now my art saves others. I am happy. I have two beautiful sons and a wonderful fiancé ... yes, I am blessed.

Jamie Mills-Price is an artist who lives in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. She can be reached by e-mail at To see more of her work, visit and


Jamie Mills Price is a member of the Society of Decorative Painters and I have met her several times. She is a wonderfully warm person and her art work is sweet and very touching. A true reflection of herself. I have purchased several of her books and patterns and they are a delight to paint. Thank you Jamie for having the courage to share your work and love!

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