Tammy Taylor paints because it's her passion - a passion she learned as a very young child.
"I can still remember doodling on my granny's knee while the bread was cooking in the oven," said Taylor, who lives on a farm near Rich Valley with her husband and four children. "I've been painting virtually my entire life as I started when I was very very young.
"I was fortunate enough to have parents that indulged my creative side and wherever and whenever we went somewhere, I would be given art pads and I would paint and draw anything I saw or came into my imagination. I couldn't imagine not painting because I honestly believe it has what has defined me as a person my entire life."
While she has painted professionally for more than two decades and taught painting for more than 15 years, Taylor's talents are about to be exposed to a larger audience than she might ever have imagined.
Taylor is a member of the Night of Artists and three weeks ago 18 members of that group held a showing at the inaugural Shabam Beer Art and Music Festival at the Mayfield Convention Centre in Edmonton.
Taylor's beautiful work from that show was featured on both Global Television and City TV and also caught the eye of numerous talent scouts from Northland Coliseum.
As a result of all this exposure, Taylor has been invited to showcase her work at the Dodge City Western Art Gallery as part of the Canadian Rodeo Finals, being held at Rexall Place from Wednesday to Sunday.
"I had never shown my work in Edmonton until this year as I have four kids at home who are all being home schooled, so it's not like I've had a lot of time to promote my work these past few years," she said. "I've also never felt comfortable showing off my work to large audiences because my art has always been for myself.
"I've done some commissioned pieces in the past, but mostly I paint for myself and a close group of friends who happen to like what I do."
To receive such overwhelming response to her work is gratifying, she admitted.
"I'm so deeply honoured to be asked to have my own showcase at a huge event like the Canadian Rodeo finals," she said. "I'm a country girl who was born and raised on a farm. Most of my work deals with farm life and things like horses, cows and nature, so my focus on rural life is probably the reason I've been invited.
"I'm going to be nervous as hell because I've never shown my work to huge crowds like this, but it is very exciting and I feel blessed because so many talented artists never get the opportunity to showcase their work in a setting like this. I do wonder why I've been chosen, but I'm going there with an open mind and positive attitude."
Taylor said she will be showing off 20 pieces she has painted over the past 12 months at the Canadian Rodeo Finals.
Growing up in the Barrhead region has allowed her to pursue her artistic passion since childhood without ever having to worry about inspiration, she said.
"Every single morning when I open the door and look outside, I see the beauty of nature and I'm still in awe each and every day," she said. "I have never lacked for inspiration as I'm always blown away by the majesty laying right outside my door."
About to turn 36, Taylor said her goal is to continue painting and hopefully have enough success to do it full-time once her children leave the nest.
"If I could sell enough of my work to do it full-time and help pay the bills, that would be very rewarding," she said. "I have four children still at home, but one day they will all be gone and I'm hoping I'll have even more time to dedicate to my art."
Taylor thanks her husband and four children for their constant support, saying it's not always easy to find the time to pursue her artistic passions.
But her family knows how much it means to her to paint, so they ensure she does have time available to paint when she's not helping home school her children, run a farm and be a loving mother and wife.