“New Year, New You” Nonsense

And just like that, another year of neglected New Year’s resolutions has come to an end. Last year, I made my painting goal to complete 3 paintings for myself. I even called this “a realistic goal” back when I set it, thinking that I will blow that number out of the water. NOPE. I actually completed an astounding ZERO. Yep, another forgotten year in my painting history. My house still only has paintings from 2013 and 2014 and thus none that I’ve done specifically for my house (since I bought it in 2016). Maybe this year will be different… I’m not holding my breath.

I did however, complete 3 commissioned paintings.  Then around September, decided to stop taking commissioned work so that I can do a few for people as gifts, and a few for myself. I completed 2 as gifts, and started a third one, but still none for myself. Here are two that I did for my mom for her birthday. She specifically told me what she wanted, since as my best customer, she knows I don’t like ambiguity.

 

18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas – Sunflowers 1

 

18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas – Sunflowers 2

A few years back (probably several years in a row actually) I made the resolution to learn a thing or two about photography, and by looking at these photographs of my paintings, it is obvious that that is another resolution that I never kept. Sigh. I also forgot to take photos as I was working on these paintings (which is likely because I crammed all the painting into a few days over the Christmas holidays so there were no obvious breaks when I could take pictures).

So this year, I’m going to take it even easier on my self with the whole New Year’s resolution stuff. My goal for the year is to continue painting whatever that entails. Between working full time, doing my Masters full time, keeping two dogs and a relationship alive, I am rather busy. There’s at least one painting that will be a gift that I want to finish then hopefully a couple for my house, although those would be a bonus. Setting the bar real low in terms of painting goals this year haha. Maybe there is a chance I will have a positive “Recap of 2017” post up next year.

Framed and hung in her living room

What are your goals for 2017 (painting or non-painting related)?

 

 

 

For the Love of Biking

This painting is a commissioned piece that a colleague of mine requested as a gift for his partner for her birthday. They are both avid mountain bikers, so this seemed fitting. This painting came from this photograph:

img_3449

And here is a step-by-step of how it came to life:

collage

And the finished piece:

30"x24" Acrylic on Canvas
30″x24″ Acrylic on Canvas

And lastly, displayed in my living room with my little monsters.

display

And speaking of commissioned paintings, I am going to take a break from accepting orders for the time being. Between working full time, doing my Master’s full time, and trying to live somewhat of a normal life, it’s just not something I can prioritize. There should still be some paintings making their way onto the blog as I’ve got some in the works for people in my life and hopefully some for my own house too.

Thanks for reading.

How to Ship a Giant Painting

I recently completed my largest painting to date, 6 feet wide by 4 feet tall. It was a commissioned piece for a customer in Florida (recall, I live in Ottawa, Ontario). It was actually a remake of one (this one) that I had done in the past. Here’s a quick overview of the progression of the (new) painting.

From start to finish
From start to finish

So how did I ship this beast?  We decided the best option to ship it was to take it off the stretchers and roll it up into a tube to ship. Not only is the painting better protected this way, but it is also much less expensive to ship. The client just has to have it re-stretched once he/she receives it (which most art stores will do).

Here are the step-by-step procedures:

1. Remove the Staples – Flip the painting over and remove all the staples holding the canvas to the stretcher bars. Be careful not to rip the canvas since it will need to be re-stretched once it arrives to the client. I used a flat-head screwdriver and pliers to get them out easily. There were probably 200 staples in this giant canvas. Not a small feat.

9b

 

2. Roll up the canvas – ensure the painting is facing to the outside. Keep it nice and loose to prevent the painting from cracking. Also make sure it is very dry before you do this since you don’t want it to stick and ruin the painting. 9c

 

3. Put it into a tube.  I used a 10 foot PVC pipe that I bought at the Home Depot and had it cut into a 6 foot and 4 foot section (that I discarded). I think the pipe cost about $30 and the cutting service was free. Typically, you could use cardboard tubes that are often used for posters, that you can buy at Staples or the like, but since this painting was so large that wasn’t an option. I wrapped the painting in paper wrapping paper first just in case the inside of the pipe was dirty (which it likely was).

10

 

4. Make end caps for the tube. To close off the tube, you will need end caps. I cut these out of cardboard and taped them on tightly on each end. I used painting tape, but I imagine electrical tape would be even better (I didn’t have any available). I also stuffed each end of the tube with paper towels to hold the canvas in place during transportation.

paint
Just me and the massive painting chilling in my backyard.

 

5. Label and Send. I wrapped a section of the pipe with paper wrapping paper so that I could write the shipping address there. Last step is to go ship this baby!

If you have any other tips and tricks for shipping large paintings, please let me know in the comments below. 

If you’re interested in a commissioned painting, find more information here

Grand Finale and New Beginning

There are certain people who are just meant to be together. Nothing is more obvious when you are in their presence. You can literally feel the love and admiration they have for each other just from the way they look at each other.

I had the opportunity to cross paths with a beautiful couple like this, Margaret and Lorne, about a year ago. Margaret and Lorne have been married just over ten years. Their first date was at the Lac Lehmy Casino in Gatineau, QC watching fireworks. This is how Lorne described the scene for me:

“At the time, the show ended and the crowd got up and left.  As the last few were climbing up the hill to their cars someone turned around and shouted back at us, “Hey, you two.  The show’s over!” and we realized that we were sitting alone in the centre of the parking lot under the umbrella, oblivious to the fact that everyone else had already left.  I think it was at that precise moment I realized that I was in deep trouble!”

This painting was a 10 year wedding anniversary gift from Lorne to Margaret and I couldn’t have been more touched that he trusted me with something so special. The instructions he gave me were basically that description above: fireworks at the casino, sitting on lawn chairs, sharing an umbrella, lost in the moment.

Below is the progression of the painting. (The green line in the first one is just painting tape that I used to make a straight line for the horizon).

Progression of the painting

And the final painting that Lorne gave to Margaret for their 10 year wedding anniversary:

"First Date" or "Grand Finale and New Beginning"
“First Date” or “Grand Finale and New Beginning” – 30″x40″ – Acrylic on Canvas

Hanging

As an artist, there is no bigger compliment than knowing that something I created truly touched someone emotionally. After receiving this gift from her husband, Margaret made sure to let me know that she was so deeply touched that it evoked happy tears. I don’t like making anyone cry, but in this instance, I couldn’t be happier.

Margaret and Lorne, I wish you two a lifetime of love and happiness <3

 

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