A Purple Unicorn
Same house as in the previous post – different year, different niece, different angle. Still the same pleasure to paint!
The problem with Christmas commissions is that I can not share them at the time of creation – and then I sometimes forget! So here is a catch-up on last year.
This was a gift to my first born niece (of 27 nieces and nephews). I hope to do one for each of them as they start their own home. This is the home she grew up in and one of my most favorite bulbs.
And pets! Always pets. I think of painting in oils in miniature as similar to sculpting – a little nudge of the paint here and a little one there to create that expression around the eyes. I remember a lot of nudging on this little girl.
This beauty went together in one sitting – a rare and wonderful experience.
I painted 9 last year (I will write up another post for the 9th). I keep my counts low so I can spend quality energy on them. When I was younger, I would paint many, but the images were quick and not personal (traditional New England horse and sleigh or barns and snow scenes.) This type takes far more time and the quality is crucial to preserve those memories.
So, no, I do not advertise on Etsy and other spaces.
The others created in 2018 can be found here:
I have broken out into a whole new phase of my ornament painting. Realistic nature!
Remember the Inktober drawing I did of a hummingbird? The photographer of the “model” for that image contacted me to commission an ornament. Something I had not contemplated before.
I had never painted a hummer in oils, and certainly not on a curved surface. I started it then panicked, “I can’t do this!”
However, I know my process pretty well by now and panic is part of it. So I broke state, went shopping, then came back and was in a much more steadied state to finish the first layer. I began to breathe again.
After a couple of days to let that dry to a tacky surface, I began shaping the next layers, pushing paint around and making tiny little touches. Finally, today I finished it and feel like I have had a tremendous breakthrough in my art. This will always have a special place in my heart. I plan to use this little Rufous Hummingbird to help me push through some watercolor practices in the next month. He is very inspiring.
The date is 2017 to commemorate getting the home last year, but this was a commission for this year.
Painting the love in peoples life – preserving memories for their tree.
I was looking at the magnified detail that can not be seen with the naked eye and it hit me that it is impressionistic.
I push paint around and create the impression of their pet. Often with a 000 sized brush and a cat’s whisker (the cats participate via donations throughout the year.)
It is the year for white puppies! Another Westie…
Our boss bought an old restaurant across the pond from our rented office this year. He then renovated it into a state-of-the-art IT facility with all sorts of amenities, not the least of which is a huge back deck that will be in much use next summer, I am sure.
We moved in Thanksgiving week. This view is looking from the old office across the pond to the back (and deck) of the new place.
I love giving these types of gifts (that capture an important moment in someone’s life) more than any other. It is probably why I have continued doing this for over 30 years.
I paint ornaments that capture memories. So what sort of ornaments would someone like me collect? Perhaps surprisingly, not always handmade (often coming from Hallmark). If it captures something important in my life, that is what makes it matter.
This year it was capturing my lifelong love of letter writing (as well as my dislike of our dog popping his cold nose on me):
Our whole tree is about memories. The fun is finding the meaningful each year.
When I was going thru college a couple of years ago, this one was perfect for my nostalgic heart – I love the old clock I played with as a child, but this captures my constant chasing the clock.
Retro Pooh is a favorite and this grouping reminds me of all the times I would read to my siblings on cold winter nights, as well as now to my nieces and nephews.
A shout out to my Mom who gave me the CB handle of Foghorn Leghorn.
But of course… (Peanuts is a favorite of mine anyway!)
But with all the fun we have, there is nothing that can touch the old Shiney Brites from my childhood for evoking deep yet soft emotions.
From Grandma’s tree —
So – what sort of tree do you have? Artsy, hodgepodge, memory collecting?