This artist had a lifelong love of arts and crafts, but until she retired from other work, she didn’t pursue art as a career. Now she is a full-time artist, painting murals, windows, and portraits of animals and people.

Photo Courtesy of Sherri Davis

Sherri Davis of Springfield, Mo., is an accidental artist, in a way. Although she has always loved doing anything artsy and crafty, she says she accidentally painted her first mural and accidentally painted her first window, and now both have become specialties.

Sherri’s interest in art began when she was a child. “My mom got obsessed with painting when I was 14, and we went to a class together. Before you knew it, she opened an art studio.”

Sherri spent her career in respiratory therapy, but she has always painted. When she retired, she began painting more. When her friends began asking her if she could make similar paintings for them, she did and then began selling her paintings. One friend asked her to paint her son’s wall, and that’s how she accidentally began painting murals.

“It was an “aha” moment for me. The painting was so big, so exciting, with size no longer a restriction,” Sherri says. Another friend asked her to paint one in her home, and then her career took off.

A contractor saw her early paintings and commissioned murals in four homes, which then were each in a local Parade of Homes tour. She kept getting more calls and began dropping time from work until she retired full-time in 2010. Now she paints full-time. “Do I ever!” she says.

She did a collaboration at Burrell Mental Health and then became an accidental window painter, doing season windows for commercial businesses. “I got that down, doing a good quality window painting.”

She also enjoys doing animal portraits and portraits of people. She usually works from photos, but if she can and the animal is receptive to strangers, she likes to meet them.

Sherri works in everything; pastel, acrylics, and some oil, and she describes her style as realistic but with expressive or unexpected colors. You can see how she uses light and shadows, too.

When asked which has been her favorite painting, she promptly says, “Whichever one I did last.” But then she goes on to confess she likes the painting of “Miss Honkey Tonk Girl,” the donkey. “People see her and smile, and that makes me smile, too.”

You can see Sherri’s paintings at Formed Gallery, 210 E. Walnut, Springfield, Mo., and follow her on Facebook.