After reading the November issue of
TheStrokingEdge.com, Pam Wessling knew she had to write and share her One Stroke story
with us. Except for some editing changes, the following is Pam's story told in her own
I began my "painting career" when my husband and I were finishing the basement
in our dream home. I stenciled a 25-foot long picket fence and bird houses, all the while
envisioning a veritable forest of a garden. When I started adding the stamped flowers and
grass, I was horrified! I quit. I was discouraged and very dissatisfied, but I was not,
however, ready to give up.
I was now on the "hunt" for that perfect something I knew was
out there to finish my walls in style. My only experience with "home shopping"
to this point was flipping past the QVC channel to get to the Carol Duvall Show. Several
months before we started on our basement project, a friend told me I might enjoy the QVC
craft weekend. Since I had to work the weekend of QVC's next Craft Day, I taped large
portions of it to view when I had time and was looking for new project ideas.
When I sat down to watch, I saw Donna Dewberry for the first time. She
told me, "you can paint." I told her, "No way baby!" I saved that tape
and every once in a while would play it to see if I was ready for a new idea. After
becoming discouraged with my basement wall, I happened to watch the tape again and there
was Donna Dewberry telling me, again, that I could paint!
After watching Donna's entire segment I thought, " if she has that
kind of faith in me and doesn't know how artistically challenged I am, maybe she's
right." The next time I made the hour trek to Wal-Mart/Hobby Lobby, I bought a couple
of Donna's books, some brushes and some paint. I spent the next three evenings painting at
my dining room table. When my husband's boss came over one evening and told me that my
flowers looked like they were "3D", I decided I was ready to start on my walls.
About a year after teaching myself One Stroke, a woman approached me at
my local Dollar Store while I was looking for more painting surfaces and called
me by name. I didn't recognize her and thought, "she must be talking to somebody
else." She walked right up to me and told me that she had seen some of my work in a
local craft show and wondered if I would consider painting her walls at her new beauty
shop. I jumped at the chance.
After discussing with her what she wanted, I went home a made some
sample ideas for her to choose from. I worked from 9:00 p.m. one evening until 2:30 the
next morning. At 9:30 that morning, I received a call from a woman who had seen the walls
and wanted me to paint her guest bedroom and a bathroom.
Since then, I have been asked over and over again by people to paint on
their walls. A few days after painting a bathroom, the client called to tell me she had
seen "my Donna Dewberry" on TV. She knew it was her after seeing "my"
roses on the wall behind Donna. I was thrilled to hear such a kind compliment.
Well...the rest is history. I took to painting the "OneStroke"
way like a baby takes to milk. I paint on anything that doesn't move. I have people
calling me an artist and don't really know why. All I know is that I have been bitten by
the Donna Bug and I just can't stop. I am so enthused with what I have learned to do that
I want to share it with everyone I know, and even those that I don't know.
I have spent the last 21 years as a Juvenile Corrections Officer in a juvenile female
facility in Kansas. I spend what little free time I have with the girls teaching them how
to paint using the One Stroke method. They laugh at me because they think I am a fanatic.
They, however, listen to every word I tell them and are eager learners and love the
I have a dream of retiring from Corrections in the next couple of years
to make a living painting, my special love being wall painting. I have found that there
are complete strangers who are thrilled and excited about my talents and are willing to
help me along once they find what my goals are. They have always had more faith in me than
I have, just like Donna.
Before I started painting, I was at a place in my life where every day
was a drudgery, little to look forward to other than going to work and going home. When I
found One Stroke, I discovered that, not only does it bring good feelings to others, it
also relieves the stress I feel at the end of a very long day. Working in Corrections
means there are sometimes some very ugly moments. Painting at the end of my work day
allows me to create a thing of beauty that brings joy to more than just myself. It brings
peace to my life that I had not felt in a very long time.
Shortly after writing this article, I had the opportunity of
meeting Donna at a little Wal Mart in the middle Manhattan, Kansas, of all places. She had
been scheduled to be there September 14th, but the tragic events of September 11th aborted
that plan. I was depressed because I knew it was just a fluke that Plaid would
send Donna to such a desolate spot on the map in the first place.
After checking through the digests of my One Stroke discussion
group on the Web, I came across a message that Donna was rescheduled to visit the
Manhattan Wal-Mart the next day. I made quick arrangements and informed my husband that
I was going out of town the next day to see Donna. He thought I
wouldn't go through with my plans because it was snowing outside. I told him that no
amount of snow would keep me from this opportunity. "What other reason do I have for
owning a four-wheel drive vehicle than to meet Donna Dewberry?"
P.O. Box 12
Beloit, KS. 67420