Thursday, December 1, 2016

Return to Innocence

One of the things I love about painting a commissioned piece is that I'm almost always challenged to do something I wouldn't normally do.
One of the things I hate about painting a commissioned piece is that I'm almost always challenged to do something I wouldn't normally do.

I have this habit of saying, "Sure!  I can do that!" 
Then I begin and wonder, "What was I thinking! How am I going to do that!"

When I was asked to paint something like 'It Is Well...again only with more teal colors instead of purple and with a few lines instead of a few words... I said, "Sure! I can do that!"
Never mind that I haven't painted with acrylics in a couple of years and that I can't imagine how I'll ever get 31 words neat and straight.

Here are a few of the things that I learned / figured out / discovered while working on this painting.
1. When the painting was "finished" but without words, it looked so cold and harsh.  I deepened the color of the sun from yellow to orange and did an orange wash over almost the whole thing. The transformation to a warm cozy tone was immediate.
2. I took the painting to school, typed the poem on the computer, put the painting on the board, then projected the words from the computer onto the painted canvas.  I used chalk to traced the words onto the painting.  Then  I painted over that. Is that cheating?  Yeah, probably, but it looks pretty good!
3. White doesn't have to be white.  Those letters aren't white... they're light, light orange.

I am thankful when someone trusts me to put their vision onto canvas. 

Original Acrylic Painting - 16"x 20" 


  1. Did you ever do a fabulous job Helen! Totally fooled me on the light light orange lettering which I thought was white...and oh there are days when I wish for the projector in my classroom that was hooked up to the computer. Putting an orange wash over it all was genius. I felt the warmth from the first moment I saw this. btw I went and looked at It is well. Love that one too, and that saying is one I will write down.

    1. Thank you, Sandra.
      The phrase is from one of my favorite hymns:
      When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
      When sorrows like sea billows roll
      Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
      It is well, it is well, with my soul
      It is well
      With my soul
      It is well, it is well with my soul

  2. Clever girl, love how you figured it out. No I don't think it is cheating and I use the computer fonts whenever I have to do lettering. I don't think sign painters used to do it freehand (that could be a t-shirt message, maybe?) I like the idea of putting the orange glaze over everything, would have never thought of that. That's why I read ya, you got the answers!!

  3. Ha ha! I don't know if I've "got the answers" but we do tend to stumble across things that work occasionally!