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

 

Rainy Night in NYC

Not too long ago, I spent the weekend in NYC. It was the rainiest weekend ever. This resulted in a lot of indoor activities. Luckily art galleries are generally indoors.

Some steam after all the rain
Some steam after all the rain

We went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) among other places, hoping to get inspired to paint. If I’m being completely honest (which I am) I’ll admit that I was quite disappointed by the lack of actual paintings there. Maybe I’m just not up to speed with modern art, but the majority of the art work there was just strange.

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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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Honeymoon in Paris

This is the second of the three commissioned paintings I did for Merna, who requested them as a gift for her fiance Senan’s 30th birthday. [See the first one here, in case you missed it]

In my post Cheating – Part 1, the first point I mentioned is how I don’t sketch out my paintings in advance, and always just start with a background, then worry about the foreground later. Well, not sure what was going through my head this day (the insane heat wave maybe???), but I decided it was a good idea to draw the Eiffel Tower in all its detailed glory first and then start painting.

It probably took me a solid 2 hours to draw everything on the canvas, since this actually required a ruler and some planning. People recognize the Eiffel Tower…can’t just go with the flow for it unfortunately! As soon as I started painting I realized I’m incapable of painting inside the lines and I painted over my whole sketch! Lesson learned. I have a system. Stop trying to fight it.

I started with a somewhat abstract background
You can see some of the remaining sketch marks of the Eiffel Tower…

This resulted in having to re-draw everything once the background dried. Ie. the way I normally paint! I could have entirely skipped that first round of drawing (and saved 2 hours of my time) if I just went with what I intuitively knew works for me…

Dabbled with the background a little more
Dabbled with the background a little more

Then it was time to redraw the Eiffel Tower.

Then started redrawing the Eiffel Tower...
It was slightly faster the second time around, luckily.

I proceeded to give it some color.

paris4
Finally starting to look recognizable

Next was the part I enjoy the most, just cleaning everything up and making it look like the image I had imagined in my head from the beginning.

The fun part, adding details to everything
Let there be light!!!

This painting is meant to be another scene from Merna and Senan’s honeymoon (which hasn’t taken place yet) however this one was slightly less challenging since she wanted it to be of them looking at the Eiffel Tower. For starters, we all know what the Eiffel Tower looks like, and I only had to paint them from behind, admiring it.

Insert lovely couple <3
Insert lovely couple <3

 And the final finished painting!

Merna and Senan at the Eiffel Tower - 18x24" - Acrylic on Canvas
Merna and Senan at the Eiffel Tower – 18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas
Zoomed in view of the Eiffel Tower
Zoomed in view of the Eiffel Tower
Zoomed in view of Merna and Senan
Zoomed in view of Merna and Senan
And here it is displayed in my home
And here it is displayed in my home

 

And lastly, a side view, where you can see the painting is extended along the edges.
And lastly, a side view, where you can see the painting is extended along the edges.

And that’s that! I really enjoyed painting this one, since I really love Paris. I went there back in 2007 after a cycling trip through the Loire Valley in France and I remember not really caring much about going to Paris since I assumed it was overrated and touristy. Well, I ate my words. It’s worth all the hype it gets, in my opinion. Have you ever been to Paris? What did you think?

Alright Merna and Senan, I’m looking forward to a picture from your honeymoon in this exact same pose! Usually the honeymoon comes first, then the painting of it, but since we’re working backwards here, you guys have a mission to recreate this scene 🙂

This painting was commissioned so it is obviously sold, however, be sure to check out my other paintings, prints (NEW!!), and information about commissioning your own painting here

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