I took my own advice on inspirations for paintings and looked no further than one of my grandsons. Carter is just over a year old in this painting where he is sitting in the grass and looking cute as he always does! A photo taken by his dad, Andy was just perfect to work from.
The Wedding Gift
Actually, I had yet another very strong motive: I needed a wedding gift for Carter’s parents, my daughter Kaylie and her husband Andy who had eloped a year ago. We were unprepared with a gift at that time, and I set my mind to present them with a painting in the future. I wasn’t sure what the subject would be though I had a strong desire to paint the little guy. I mean, he was just so darn cute! But would I be able to pull it off? My recent paintings have been mostly landscapes. What good is a portrait painting if the likeness is not there?
I began with his face since I knew the success of the painting depended on its’ true likeness. I struggled a bit here, painting the facial features over and over again. But persistence and patience paid off. Eventually, I saw the little guy’s face that I’ve come to know and love! My husband Kris confirmed it. Hurray! The rest of the painting would be easy from here. Days afterwards, I would head out to my studio and peer in at the painting in progress and seeing the likeness of the little guy, would bring a big smile to my face.
Grid Transfer Method
Here I’d like to share a good tip for enlarging a drawing or photo onto a larger canvas. I printed the photo and folded into quarters and then in quarters again. I also divided the canvas into the same number of sections, and then was able to sketch the outlines of the body onto the canvas. In this way, I was ensured of an accurate transfer. And of course I only resorted to this after several attempts at drawing freehand unsuccessfully!
A Time of Innocence
And now I know that I must also paint my other grandchildren. No problem there! They are all so incredibly sweet. What a joy it is to be a grandparent and watch these little ones grow. Though they don’t live nearby, I can feel a little closer to them while I’m painting them. What a good plan.
As Carter grows, I hope this painting will always trigger a memory of a time of innocence, when everything was new, and life was all a wonder to be explored.
Kaylie and Andy, I hope you enjoy this painting as much as I enjoyed painting it!
Health to all in Altea, Spain
12 x 16 acrylic
I’ve never been to Spain, but I hear it’s kind of warm there…
I painted this street scene in Altea, Spain for my mother-in-law. I was commissioned to paint it by my sister-in-law Terry, who wanted to give it to her as gift and in turn it was also a gift for me since it got me back in the studio after several month’s absence! So we both say thanks to Terry!
Lucky Norwegian’s time-out in Spain
My mother-in-law, Kari spent some time in Altea and enjoyed it so much, she dreams of going back. As a Norwegian citizen, she was fortunate to take part in their government’s program for seniors in need of a health holiday abroad. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jun/26/spain.international
Now why can’t every country have a program like that? Well, in Norway’s case, the nation is very wealthy due to the oil reserves. The government very smartly invested what it could and now each Norwegian citizen reaps the rewards with such wonderful government programs such as this. While in Altea, she stayed in a Norwegian run hotel staffed with therapists and nursing staff that ensured the resident’s well being. There were daily swim programs, and walks, social activities and healthful meals provided. Its no wonder Kari dreams of returning!
Kari in Altea
Health to all
The name Altea is derived from the Moors who conquered the region and named it Althaya, meaning health to all.
With an average year round daily temperature of 26 degrees celsius (80 degrees F), it’s no wonder that tourists are attracted to Altea, which is situated in the province of Alicante along the Costa Blanca, the “White Coast”.
The street scene that I painted is in the charming old town of Altea and features the landmark church of El Conseugo.
Writers and painters from all over the world choose to live here due to the abundance of inspiration. This place is sounding better and better all the time. Hmmm, I should probably check it out. Kari next time you go I’ll be right behind you!
I was pleased with how the painting turned out. Afterwards though, I realized that with all the architectural details, it would have been easier do it in pen and ink. Much more control. It was a challenge to paint all the fine lines and get those fine brush strokes. The painting hangs proudly in my mother-in-law’s apartment where she can dream of carefree warm days and nights in sunny Altea, walking the cobblestone streets of the old town. And I, well I can always revisit the painting on my website! And I too will be longing for those warm dreamy days in sunny Spain.
Heading to Calmer Waters – 16 x 20 Acrylic
I get a little homesick or should I say “cottage” sick standing back and looking at this painting. My sister Gabie and I often go kayaking on Lake Lauzon. When you round this point from the larger open part of the lake, you approach the bay where our family’s cottage is. And the water in the bay is always calmer.
If you look in the upper left, there is a boat house that belongs to the cottage. It is leaning now, because it’s support posts have shifted from upheavals from too many cold northern Ontario winters. It was built by my dad, back in a time when you were allowed to build over the water’s edge. The front end is rotting now too, so it will probably need new supports some day or perhaps it would have to be removed. It’s not really being used at all now. Well, I think it is home to a beaver at times when my sister doesn’t annoy him too much by shooing it away.
This painting also takes me to a time when I’m on vacation and spending time with family, when life slows down, and takes me to those calmer waters. It’s a nice memory.
24 x 36 acrylic on canvas.
Note to self: always finish what you start! About 3 years ago I began this painting. I couldn’t seem to find a way to complete it, and even wanted to paint over it and start fresh. A good friend and an artist gave me some good advice once when she said we should never leave a painting unfinished. I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment with “Autumn Path”.
It’s a reminder that even though it sometimes is a battle, if you keep at it you will find a way to finish what you began, and the results are so rewarding!!! And sometimes just taking a break from a project and stepping away for some time helps to see it in a new light. A painting or project may be abandoned but never totally forgotten.
This painting is an autumn path at Allan Park which is located off of Hwy. 4 between Durham and Hanover, Ontario. It was a favourite path that we walked in many seasons and holds many memories.
16 x 20 acrylic on canvas
Ahhh…memories of summer 2014. This is a familiar scene for many cottagers and I think some people may even know this very spot that I’ve captured in this painting! What a perfect day it was with a lake, like glass.
16 x 20 acrylic on canvas.
I lost track of the number of hours I logged in on this one! I’m happy that it’s done now, or at least I reached a point where I was satisfied with it. Sometimes that’s a difficult point for an artist to reach.
I’ve always enjoyed the spring when the poppies are blooming. The flowers look like delicate paper saucers flipping this way and that with the wind on their spindly stems. Not to mention the buds. Round firm green little packages with a poppy flower tucked inside. I saw these when I was out walking the dog though I wish they were in my own garden. I’ll have to plant some one of these days!