McLaren, Welcome to the Team

In the previous post I mentioned how in 2015 I only did commissioned paintings. This blog post is showcasing another one of those.

This one is also the perfect example of why I need deadlines. The client gave me no deadline and said I can take my time. So take my time I did… I am so embarrassed to admit that I started this painting almost a year ago!

And so it begins...
And so it begins…
Probably 3 months later... at the rate I was going
Probably 3 months later… at the rate I was going

SOOO many times, I would make internal deadlines that I would try to meet but then other stuff would come up and I never prioritized it.

Probably 6 months in... Starting to look like something finally
Probably 6 months in… Starting to look like something finally
The end is so close yet so far
The end is so close yet so far

However, in the end, we have a painting that he loves and I am definitely proud of.

Adam with his painting.
Adam with his painting.

You may have noticed that this is not my first car painting… Although I have a mechanical engineering degree, I am certainly not a car person – this car theme kind of spiraled because my dad asked for one a few years ago, and then several other people came to me after that one and said, hey I want one like that too! Adam was no exception. He is a fellow mechanical engineer though so that’s pretty awesome.

And as such, my collection of car paintings is growing and growing. Although they were all commissioned paintings and thus sold, prints are available here.

McLaren, welcome to the team! And in similar news, I am starting another commissioned car painting that needs to be completed by Aug 1st, 2016, so stay tuned for that. It will be my largest painting to date: 72″x48″!!!

McLaren
48″x36″ – McLaren
3 Times When Paintings Make Good Gifts

3 Times When Paintings Make Good Gifts

Search terms that bring many people to this website are often ones about giving paintings as gifts. I’ve written about this several times (here) and the consensus is, paintings usually do not make good gifts. Everyone’s style is different and it can be an expensive and awkward gift if you’re unprepared. But there are a small number of exceptions, and here they are:

1. When you know the person really well. For example, your wife/husband/cat of 20+ years. Chances are, you know exactly what he/she likes and hates by now. These are all paintings that were a gift for a spouse:

2. When they tell you exactly what they like. For example, if you’re ever in this situation:

“Hunnie, I love this painting. I think it would look great in our home”

Get hunnie the painting. He/she is being super clear. There is zero ambiguity there.

Or you get an email from your mom with a picture of something she saw elsewhere and loves, with a caption: my birthday is coming up.

You should get them the painting in these situations. Here are paintings I did after similar situations, all three for my parents:

3. If they previously owned it but it was burned in a fire, eaten by the dog, evaporated into thin air… If you’re just replacing it, I’d say your odds are good that he/she will continue to like it.

Bad Fido.
Bad Fido.

I recently did a commissioned piece for a colleague who wanted it as a gift for his wife. He said the image was her desktop background on her computer and she was really into meditation and yoga, so I’d say our odds were good here. Here is the progression of the painting:

collage

 

And the moment we presented the gift to her, which she had absolutely no idea about. Surprises like these are my favourite! They are such a cute couple and I was honoured to put a smile on their faces.

If you are interested in a commissioned piece of art work, perhaps as a birthday or Christmas gift for someone special, feel free to contact me. More information about my rates can be found here.

3 Surefire Ways to Make Someone’s Birthday Special

3 Surefire Ways to Make Someone’s Birthday Special

There are three surefire ways to make someone feel extra special on their birthday, and that is a fact!

1. Be there. 

How can you tell them how special they are to you if you are not there for their birthday? My parents live almost 700km away so usually a phone call and a snail mail card (eons better than a Facebook happy birthday wish) has to do the trick, but this year, luckily, Easter was around the time of my dad’s and brother’s birthdays so I had an extra long weekend and was able to make the trek down to see them. Bonus points for me.

2. Bake a cake. 

Sweets are the secret to anyone’s heart, and that is also a fact. If someone tells you they do not like sweets, they are a lying liar who lies so make them cake anyways. Fortunately, my dad loves anything sweet. A couple of years ago, I made him this cake. It was supposed to be a sexy red sports car. Major fail. However, the old man mobile that it looks like is probably more age appropriate anyways. Just kidding dad. You are only as old as you feel and we all know you feel like a 22-year-old.

IMG00311-20120425-1337

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For All My Car Buffs

If you know my dad at all, you’ll know that he has two passions in his life: cars and ice cream. As far as painting goes, he’s never once asked me to paint him anything (my mom on the other hand…) until this past weekend.

Although I was secretly hoping it would involve the later of those two passions, it not-surprisingly involved cars. But how could I say no, after everything he does for me?! For example, he’s helped me move (ie. did 99% of the work involved) every single labor day long weekend for the past 6 years in a row, which usually first required driving up to Ottawa (8 hours away) to move my furniture basically across the street. Well friends, for the first time in my adult life, I am not moving during the labor day long weekend. It feels like the end of an era actually! So instead, I concluded that the least I can do is a painting for my dad, as a way to say thanks.

Dad with his very first painting from his favorite daughter <3
Dad with his very first painting from his favorite daughter <3

Now I know absolutely nothing about cars, and have very different taste in art than my dad, so this painting required precise instructions from him.

He asked for a painting similar to this “abstract/distorted” picture on the left, but using the car on the right:

collage

 

I thought this car was an Audi the whole time I was painting it…

I started with a gray background done with a palette knife
I started with a gray background done with a palette knife

But no, turns out this is an Aston Martin (which is NOT spelled Austin Martin, in case you were wondering…)

Then I added the abstract background, also with a palette knife
Then I added the abstract background, also with a palette knife
Next I added the car in an undistorted/abstract way
Next I added the car in an undistortedway

Had I been left to my own devices, I would have added a lot of detail to the car, and more colors to the abstract background and called it a day. However, my dad wanted the car to be all abstract too, so I basically took a palette knife and tried to “mess is up” and “stretch it out”. At one point I asked my dad for his input and he pointed out that the car is actually a very light metallic blue, and not white, which was music to my ears, since I love color and thought white is so boring the whole time I was painting this.

And the final reveal!

Aston Martin - 18x24" - Acrylic on Canvas
Aston Martin – 18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas

Had my dad not asked for this, this isn’t something I would have ever painted on my own. I tend to paint more cute, lovey-dovey, pretty things. It was totally out of my comfort zone which made for an overall fun challenge.

Side View
Side View

 In case you wanted to know a little more about this car… It competes in the 24 hour Le Mans race.

Naturally, my dad owns a scaled model of this car
Naturally, my dad owns a scaled model of this car

And no, it has never won this race.

And here's a zoomed in view.
And here’s a zoomed in view.

However, according to my pops, it is the best looking car.

Aston Martin - 18x24" - Acrylic on Canvas
Aston Martin – 18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas

And we’re all about external appearances here (apparently) haha

Since this was yet another commissioned painting, it is not for sale, however prints are available here

Prefer original art? My original paintings for sale are listed here

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