This week I did quite a bit of painting, as my husband is away in the field (for those of you who are not military, that’s Army camping/training). I did two small daily paintings and then worked the rest of the week on the dailypaintworks.com challenge of painting values in black and white.
I’ve been wanting to paint portraits ever since I can remember, but so far I have found it very difficult to capture the likeness in drawing and especially in painting. When I decided to paint a photo of my grandmother, Rita, I was very nervous because I did not want to “mess it up” and be discouraged from trying again, especially because she was a very important person to me and I wanted to do her justice.
Although I did not capture her likeness, there was something magic about spending this time with her. I have always wished I looked more like her, but as I tried in vain to capture her features exactly, I noticed that I did inherit more than her artistic ability: the shape of my face, jawline and cheekbones, is very like her, and we both have an “outline” around our lips that defines the shape. And although I did not know my grandmother this young, there is something about the proud lift of her chin and the strength in her gaze that makes me feel I would have really liked her as a person in addition to the love I feel as her granddaughter.
I was blessed with the best grandparents, and although I miss them every day, I know I am lucky to have had them in my life. While painting this portrait of my grandmother, I realized that I will not have a problem making more attempts at painting them until I am finally happy with the results, and I am very fortunate to have this special way of spending just a little more time with them. I only wish I could show them how much I’m learning…they were always my biggest fans and supporters, and my grandmother’s appreciation of my artistic efforts gave me such joy growing up. I’ll keep painting you until I get it right, Grandmommy, I promise!