True Love II – New Painting

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A few months ago I was commissioned to do a painting inspired by the poem called ‘The True Love’ written by David Whyte. If you haven’t already seen and read about the first ‘True Love’ painting I did – you gotta check it out – its such a touching story —> TRUE LOVE I.

I had originally created two sketches for my client at that time and she chose the sketch with the boat. However, I knew I wanted to make the other sketch into a painting one day as well and so awhile ago I started working on it. Then other projects came up, things got in the way and it wasn’t until today that I picked the piece up again and finished it off. Collage
The poem includes references to the Scottish Hebrides and so this new painting is inspired from various photographs I’ve seen of those lovely coastlines.

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New Painting – True Love

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I do not know how else to explain this new piece to you without sharing some of my clients letters:

Hi Micheline!
I love love love your work, and would like to commission you to do a piece for my husband based on a poem by David Whyte, called “The True Love.” We are happy to have found each other after years of NOT finding ourselves or love, and this poem really speaks to our relationship.

The True Love by David Whyte

There’s a faith in loving fiercely the one who is rightfully yours

especially if you have waited years and especially if part of you never believed you could deserve this loved and beckoning hand held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are worthy of in this world.
Years ago in the Hebrides I remember an old man
who would walk every morning on the gray stones
to the shore of baying seals, who would press his
hat to his chest in the blustering salt wind and say his
prayer to the turbulent Jesus hidden in the waters.

And I think of the story of the storm and the people
waking and seeing the distant, yet familiar figure,
far across the water calling to them.
And how we are all preparing for that abrupt waking
and that calling and that moment when we have to say yes!
Except it will not come so grandly, so biblically,
but more subtly, and intimately in the face
of the one you know you have to love.
So that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them we find, everything holds us,
and everything confirms our courage.

And if you wanted to drown, you could,
But you don’t, because finally, after all
this struggle and all these years,
you don’t want to anymore.
You’ve simply had enough of drowning
and you want to live, and you want to love.
And you’ll walk across any territory,
and any darkness, however fluid,
and however dangerous to take the one
hand and the one life, you know belongs in yours.

CollageI was thrilled by this commission and completely touched by the poem. I had so many images whirring through my mind while I read it through. I loved the image of the old man walking by the shores, the Hebrides, the boat, the hands… it was SO HARD to choose. I ended up creating two sketches (pictured above) and then gave my client the choice.

This was her letter to me after she received the sketches:

Oh Micheline! I looked first at your couple holding hands and thought it was unbelievably lovely, but then the boat one just stole my heart! I love the colors, and the sky and the sea are amazing. And my husband is from South Africa and is a huge ocean guy, and always is gazing lovingly at pictures of the blues of the seas, so you were so right about the Hebrides! Please proceed and change and embellish as you need with the boat one…

I also should comment that I like the boat one too because it almost holds more possibility, no? Like finding a partner isn’t only about the two of us together, but also so much is about having the courage finally to step out of the boat and walk on the water, which actually does hold us, no? My husband and I are late 54/49 years old and have lived a lot of life NOT being as wholehearted and courageous as we might wish, and so the boat and the water will speak to him for the way his life has come together these past few years so beautifully, romantically, professionally, and within his own being.

Thank you so much and I am most excited about this collaboration between us to bring a gift to him!!

OH YEAH and guess what else she said to me —->>>> “I love colour!” A kindred spirit indeed – no restrictions here! 😉
WIP

The sky is always my favourite my part – I feel like I can get away with anything there. I knew I wanted a sunset coloured sky but I never originally planned to paint the sun itself. However, after processing the poem more I wanted to convey not only the life, joy and courage of love but also the passion as well – hence the exploding sunset.

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My husband snuck up behind me one morning while I was painting and snapped this – it’s kinda nice to have because I rarely have shots of myself working. 🙂

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‘True Love’ – acrylic on canvas – 2′ x 3′

I’m so please with how it turned out (probably because it’s practically a rainbow of colours!!! 😉 ) I swear it does look far more exciting in real life – pictures just never fully do the art justice… Thanks for reading and stopping by my friends – I hope you enjoyed this one!

True Art Lovers

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Had to share this photo because it makes me laugh every time I see it. During one of our family holidays I forced <achem…> I mean… I encouraged my family to visit an art museum with me. It was about mid-tour that they struck this pose for me. Do you think maybe they were mocking me a teeny little bit? 😉 Ah well, all in good humour – I love my family!

Paintings

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The Romance – acrylic on canvas – 14″ x 23″

Featured here is a small collection of my paintings. This gallery will continue to grow – please keep checking back to see new work. I am available for commission work of all kinds so please contact me if you have an idea in mind. Some of the paintings posted here are available for sale in my Etsy shop. You can also check out more of my work by scrolling through my painting category. Thanks for stopping by!

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In the Garden – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 20″

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Black Jack – acrilic on canvas – 2′ x 2′

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Top of the World – acrylic on canvas – 2′ x 3′

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True Love II – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 20″

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Lake McDonald  – 3’x2.5′ – acrylic on canvas

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Dutch Harbour on Kootenay Lake – 26″ x 30″ – acrylic on canvas

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Playful – triptych – 4′ x 12″ – acrylic on canvas

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Seasonal Feathers – acrylic on canvas – Four 12″ x 16″ canvases

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‘True Love’ – acrylic on canvas – 2’x3′

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‘A Grateful Heart’ – acrylic on canvas – 40″ x 30″

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Home and Beyond – 2′ x 3′ – acrylic on canvas

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‘A Place You Belong’ – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 20″

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‘Joy’ – acrylic on canvas – 1′ x 2′

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Scottish Thistle – acrylic on canvas – 8″ x 10″

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‘Celebration’ – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 20″

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‘It Takes Two to Tango’ – acrylic on canvas – 1′ x 2′

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‘Kalina’ – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 20″

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A Cedar for Cedar – acrylic on canvas – 11″ x 14″

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The Bench – acrylic on canvas – 3′ x 5′

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Ruins – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 3′

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Grove – acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 12″

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Wonderland – acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 12″

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Cow Island – acrylic on canvas – 11″ x 14″

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Three Sisters – acrylic on canvas – 11″ x 14″

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Dancing Trees II -acrylic on canvas – 2′ x 2′

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Light Delight – acrylic on canvas – 3′ x 4′

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Title: Down by the Riverside, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12”x 12”

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Title: Cuppa Jo, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 8”x 8”

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Title: Red Pear, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 8”x 8”

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Title: Following the Snowline II Acrylic on Canvas Size: 2′ x 3′

Evansbrae

Title: Home, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 4′ x 5′

WhoYouAre

Title: Who You Are, Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 20″

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TRI

Title: Dancing Trees, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 3′ x 4′

Still

Title: Still, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12″ x 12″

Sunflower

Title: Sunflower, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 8″ x 10″

The Elder Tree

Title: The Elder Tree, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 5″ x 5″

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Sea Maidens – acrylic on canvas – 3′ x 3′

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Margaret Lake

Title: Margaret Lake, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 3′ x 4′

Light

Title: Light, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 11″ x 14″

Light Study-01

Title: Light Study #1, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12″ x 12″

Light Study #2

Title: Light Study #2, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12″ x 12″

 

FollowingTheSnowLine

Title: Following the Snowline, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 1.5′ x 3′

Fisher Peak

Title: Fisher Peak, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 2′ x 3′

First Growth

Title: First Growth, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12″ x 12″

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View of the Flats – 8″ x 10″ – acrylic on canvas

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Title: Cedar Boughs, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12″ x 16″

EvansbraeBlossoms

Title: Blossoms, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12″ x 12″

Evansbrae Cedars

Title: Cedars, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 11″ x 14″

Blessing

Title: Blessing, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 2.5′ x 4′

Beginning

Title: Beginning, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 3’x 4′

DreamTrees

Title: Winter Trees, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 11″ x 14″

Dream

Title: Dream, Acrylic on Canvas, Size: 12″ x 16″

Never Let Your Child Grow-up to be an Artist

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I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – especially while I paint… Our society has an unwritten rule, “Never let your child grow-up to be an artist”.  And I have seen the effects of this “rule” in daily life FIRST HAND.  I’d say that the general consensus is that if you choose to be an artist in our society you are crazy, rebellious and will probably end up homeless.

I’ve taught art in community classes, in college settings and currently I teach private lessons. My teenage daughter teaches music to little ones weekly and what strikes me most is how proud each parent is of their child’s artistic accomplishments. They swell with pride when they watch their little one at a recital or see their completed artwork and they praise the child profusely. What this tells me is that in our deepest self – we LOVE art!

However, you are not allowed to be an artist when you grow-up.10012779_1843804032510883_4756052951223160808_oNow don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the parents here! We only want the best for our children. We want them to be able make a living, we want them to succeed and we want them to be happy. Our hearts are in the right place. What is in the wrong place is the fact that society does not value art – and for some reason we choose to follow along with that…

I could say all the obvious things here; art brings beauty, change, life and joy to the world (all 100% true) but this does not negate the fact that most of the time art doesn’t pay the bills. Why? Well, because like I said above, it is valueless to us.

It’s almost like we came out of the industrial revolution completely encased in the factory worker mentality. Art lost its central professional role in historical society and now sits on the sidelines.  It is considered more of a hobby than a real profession.

What do we admire most when we study history? What helps us understand and envision the past? What connects us to who we were? Who are some of the most famous people in history?

Art and artists.
10409778_1620505754840713_4095691839944688678_nArt is the reflection of who we are now. Our music, our literature, our paintings will be how future generations identify with us. It is how we will be remembered. No one will remember the factories… And yet, we value those roles more? Weird.

Does that mean we give up on factories or better put nowadays, technology? Obviously not! What it does mean though is that art shouldn’t remain a side show. It should play a professional and valuable role in our world. We should honour it. We should be able to encourage our children to become artists. And they should be able to make a living at it.

That’s a lot of “should s”…
A modern day Renaissance would be nice though – I guess I can dream…

If you are interested in this topic you should check out this Ted Talk – it is such a great example of how art affects change and brings goodness –> Theaster Gates: How to revive a neighborhood: with imagination, beauty and art.

(Pssst… pictured here are some of my students – and yes I am SOOOO proud of them – LOVE teaching them!)

New Painting – The Romance

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‘The Romance’ – acrylic on canvas – 14″ x 23″

The past year presented a great deal of trials for me in terms of health. And through these struggles my husband has cared for me with patience, kindness and devotion. Even in my worst and most inglorious moments he held true and constant.

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While I was in the hospital last summer I did the small sketch pictured above. It was a celebration of marriage as an institution. Two really are better than one…

Instead of titling the final piece ‘Marriage’ I titled it, ‘The Romance’. I feel like romance, as a word, has been a little misused in our culture… It conjures up young new love, or an affair, or valentine’s day, or chocolate and roses… But the word romance deserves more meaning than that. I think real romance is being present, completely committed and devoted to another long term.

I photographed the process of painting this piece (pictured below) – I hope you enjoy!
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Cherish

Years ago during one of our homeschool sessions my daughter and I learned about forests and rain-forests. We loved the topic and spent a whole week focusing on it. However, my little girl was quite saddened to learn that the forests were disappearing and that the environment was suffering as a result. When it comes to environmental issues I always feel rather helpless, the only way I knew how to comfort my daughter was to suggest that we pray about it. Hannah agreed that praying for the environment was good but she suggested that we should also pray for our own bit of forest too. During our research we learned that some wealthier folks had actually bought portions of  forest and rain-forest to personally protect themselves. I never dreamed that her little prayer would come true but in 2010 when we purchased our farm we acquired 15 acres of forest with it! Our forest is pretty small but we cherish it and we are super grateful for the opportunity to protect it.

Maybe if we cherished our world just a little more it would suffer a little less…?

The gallery attached here features photos I’ve taken in our little forest this past week and a few are from the past year. Enjoy!

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So funny enough… I did the draw for next week’s photo challenge and it was actually submitted by me! Yes, I put one into the hat too – I couldn’t resist! 😉 So tune in next week for “The More the Merrier“.