Sweet Sixteen

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

This commission has been waiting patiently in secret (okay maybe not so patiently…) to be revealed – it is a gift commissioned for a VERY sweet sixteen-year-old!

It was an honour to be chosen to paint this piece but after the task set itself inside my mind I piled on a mass amount of stress. I felt this need to create something that would surpass time – something my client’s daughter could love now and for her whole life; classic, timeless, unchanging…

I know right – phew – what was I thinking?!
Thankfully it didn’t last long and I quickly realized this was NOT the best approach. Duh…

I let go of my grandiose ideas and narrowed my focused on being sixteen and the celebration of the journey from childhood to adulthood. I wanted the painting to be filled with the whimsy of being a kid but still depict the good path ahead. A path forward into something greater, bigger, even better than what she’s known before. Secondly, I wanted the painting to seem like everywhere she walked she left a trail of beauty on all sides – my hope was that this would convey to my client’s daughter how much joy she brings, how beautiful she is inside and out and how important she is to those around her. Lastly, the painting includes other personal touches like her favourite colour (Can you guess?) and the violin to symbolize her love of music.

Every time I paint I find there is a war between my illustrative side and my painterly side and in this painting the battle was monstrous. This can be frustrating, but I think I might be heading towards a place where I can let them coexist. Possibly one will be more dominant than the other in different pieces but I’m learning that this is okay and that I need to just enjoy the journey. And hopefully much like the sweet sixteen-year-old depicted here I’ll leave a wake of beauty on all sides of me as I go.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoy seeing the painting progress in the photos below –> UntitledIMG_8602IMG_8628IMG_8625IMG_8632IMG_8637_Small