City Love

From Sept – Dec 2013, I had the daunting task of doing a capstone project to wrap up my Mechanical Biomedical Engineering degree. This project, known at Ottawa University as CAD-CAM is easily one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done. My group members, Ben and Alex, and I worked on it basically every single day for those 3.5 months. Around the first month, before shit got real, Ben made a comment that by December my otherwise bright and happy paintings are going to be all black and ‘angry’ with splashes of red due to all the stress that we’re bound to experience.

Easily the best CAD group there ever was. L to R: Alex, me, and Ben.
Easily the best CAD group there ever was. L to R: Alex, me, and Ben.

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City Girl

Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of a busy city or are you more of a country dweller?

While I love the fresh air of the country, I’ve always chosen to live in the heart of downtown. I never have to worry about parking, or commuting, or city traffic since I can walk or bike just about anywhere I need to go.

Progression of the painting
Progression of the painting

I end up living in teeny tiny places for ridiculous amounts of money, but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. At this point in my life, I value location above all else. Maybe one day, if/when I have kids/pets I’ll make my way into suburbia or the country, but for now, no way! I’m lucky in that the city I live in (Ottawa, ON) also has a giant park nearby (Gatineau Park) which has extensive biking and hiking trails, beaches, as well as downhill and cross-country skiing trails so if I ever want to get away from the downtown hustle and bustle, I just hop on my bike.

Except when it rains or snows. Then I tend to hibernate, but that would happen if I lived in the country too.

12x12" - Acrylic on Canvas
City Girl – 12×12″ – Acrylic on Canvas

This painting is a portrayal of the reflecting city lights on a rainy night in the heart of downtown. As miserable as it may feel being stuck out in the rain at night, there is something so beautiful about the way the light reflects off the rain. Have you ever tried capturing such a moment with a camera? I’ve never been successful with it, so attempted it with this painting.

Zoomed in View
Zoomed in View

Interestingly, this painting made me realize how much I miss using oil paints. Since I live in a tiny downtown apartment, oil paints just aren’t feasible for me. I work on too many paintings at once to have room for them to lay out and dry (which can take weeks to months!), and there’s the issue of toxicity of the paint. The acrylic paint dries so fast that I had a very tough time blending the background in the way that I wanted to.


So maybe one day when I move out into the burbs and have a painting studio with proper ventilation, I’ll reattempt this painting with oil paint. Isn’t it ironic that I need to escape city living to properly portray it in a painting?


My original intent with this painting was to do a time-lapse video of the painting process of it. I have about 45 minutes of footage that I was hoping to make into a 2-3 minute video, however I’m terrible with technology so that didn’t happen.

Some issues I experienced:
– Movie Maker won’t work on my PC for whatever reason (after downloading it from Microsoft)
– the file size of each video is too large to edit in an online video editor

If any of you lovely folks out there have any recommendations how to fix theses issues, I’d LOVE to hear from you 🙂

Like this painting City Girl? It is now SOLD, but check out my other original paintings available in my online store here.

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