This is Grace.
I painted her about this time last year. She's the first A3 size canvas I painted. It felt lovely to be able to fill the space and try out different shapes and textures.
She was a real labour of love.
Before doing anything else, I drew and coloured her face so that I could get an idea of who she might be. As weird as it sounds, every lady I draw is completely different and seems to have a personality all her own. I never know what colours the finished picture is going to have. It all depends on what the lady's face looks like.
So I sat for a while and got a feel for what kind of colour combinations might suit her. That's when the background of the canvas started to take shape. I used vintage sewing patterns, pages from antique books, vintage Japanese washi paper, pastels, acrylic paints and art pens to layer up the background.
I positioned her face onto the background and started to paint in the details of her body and dress.
Every dress I paint is different.
Finally, I used art pens to draw in the details. The white dots on her face and the lace of her dress. Adding the final touches.
Each painting takes time, but I enjoy doing little bits here and there when energy allows, in short bursts. Layering up and playing with colour. It makes my heart smile.
My sister has one more round of chemotherapy left. Hopefully, by the end of May she will be be able to say that the chemo has finished and she will start to feel better. It has been six long months for her going through this gruelling physical marathon. I had no real concept of what it meant to watch someone endure chemo until seeing my sister go through it. The hurt of watching her suffer and the complete powerlessness I have felt to make any difference at all. She has always been bubbly, feisty and funny, but I had no idea she would be able to make me snort laughing about the indignities of the cancer treatment, or that she would opt not to wear a wig, and instead, boldly and bravely take off her scarf in public. Allowing herself to be truly seen while at her most physically and emotionally vulnerable. She has carried herself with such grace and I am so proud to be her sister.
When the end of May comes and her chemotherapy treatment is finally over we'll breathe a huge sigh and things will feel lifted. Just in time for Summer.
With all of that in mind, I opted for a new blog design, based around one of my latest painted ladies, and some of the colours I have used in my mixed-media canvases. In honour of new beginnings, and a bright, happy summer. With huge thanks to Darius for his marvellous computer trickery.
What do you think? Do you like it?
How are things with you?
I hope that you are enjoying your days and that life is treating you kindly.
With huge love,