Ida’s Legacy, 2015
Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas
This painting has such a strange creation story behind it. I started it years ago. Literally, years. It was so long ago that I can`t even remember exactly which year it was. I finished it 2015 year and then finished it again 2016.
Explanation forth coming.
This piece was gifted to a physician who specializes in delivering children. (I’m sure there is a specific and fancy medical term for that profession but I don’t know what it is.) In fact, she actually delivered my child. Over the years, she has been an amazing doctor and I wanted to show my appreciation for the personal touch that she has always brought to my family`s health care. The piece was inspired by something she shared with me during one of my regular visits. I can`t remember exactly how we got on the topic but she explained how, although she doesn`t have children, she is leaving a legacy of many children through her work. She touches the lives of family after family. My synopsis there didn’t really do justice to the way that she shared but trust me, it was very moving. I left the office feeling very inspired. As is often the case with creatives, I felt moved to interpret her story into art.
I remember starting in on the project with so much gusto but then, well… life happened. These past few years have been such a roller coaster ride. I won’t go into the extreme personal challenges sent my way but on top of those, I was working multiple jobs with ridiculous hours. At one point, I just put all of my art stuff away because it was too depressing to look at it when I didn`t have the physical time or mental currency to be regularly creative. Ida’s Legacy ended up unfinished, in an alcove in my home for about two years before she again saw the light of day. When I finally took her out, I had a couple of other pieces that I needed to finish first because they were for specific showings with deadlines. (I re-launched my art career.) It took some time but the day finally arrived when I could focus on this piece again. I placed her tenderly on my easel, set up my paints and then went to work… for all of five minutes or so. Insert dramatic sigh here. I quickly found out that it had been so long that the tube of deep red paint that I used for her hair had completely dried up. I went to get another tube, as I always have multiples of my colours… except that I didn’t. I couldn’t believe it. I’d have to go get more paint. It was a couple of weeks before I had a chance to get to the art supply store and when I finally did, I was very demoralized to find out that they no longer carried that brand/colour. Whaaaaaa?! I was so frustrated! I had only been on hiatus from my art for a measly two years! I mean seriously, how could a store do this to me?!! I expect all the stores that I frequent to carry all products that I like, for all of eternity. (Just in case the self-mocking tone isn’t coming through in text, I’m kidding of course.)
I ended up buying some other colours, thinking that I could mix a close enough colour at home. Nope. I couldn’t. To say I’m a bit particular when it comes to my creative projects would be an understatement. I was determined to find that exact colour and brand. Thanks to our lovely internet, it didn’t take me too long. Some artist supply company back east had it. I happily ordered way more tubes than were actually needed. When they arrived in the mail (more than 2 weeks later), I jumped to complete the deep red segments of her hair. I then looked at the piece and realized that, with that finished, I didn’t like the second colour in the hair soooooo… I fixed it by repainting them all in another colour which was actually so close to the original colour that my family couldn’t tell the difference. Yeah, we artists are fun, aren’t we? In my defense, I could see the difference. The second hair colour was now brighter and it added some much needed “pop”. If fact, it popped so much that the body then look washed out. Yep, I repainted all those segments too. Basically imagine a lather-rinse-repeat scenario for all the different sections of this painting. I won’t even go into the bit about me having to mix two liquid ink colours in a paint pen apparatus that I had never used before in order to get the lines on the skin exactly how I wanted them. In the end, this paintings was a true challenge but I learned so much that I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I also liked it soooooo much more than the original version with the less dramatic colours.
The short of it is that this painting took me years to create. (see paragraph 1)
Making art is crazy but I love it. I hope Ida loves it too.