Tuesday, January 25, 2011

... warmth & welcome ...

Calligraphy, n. the art of fine handwriting.

Do you recall having learned this in grade school? I remember clearly being fascinated with this art form and practicing it over and over again on our specially-lined paper in fourth grade. And, if memory serves me correctly, I recall having a wonderful substitute teacher one day during a handwriting lesson, and thinking that she was so much like this artistic expression by her lovely grace and kind attention that she demonstrated to everyone.

Mrs. Kuert was a substitute teacher back then ... funny how time goes by - - my son now sits in her kindergarten classroom (hopefully behaving himself!!). I couldn't feel more fortunate that his first year of school is under the guidance of such a gracious and warm-hearted teacher.

The Kuert family is one that exudes this generosity of spirit. Our community is also enriched by this family, as her husband, Pastor Kuert (as I call him, but I believe that he is better known as "Pastor John"), has led his church into tremendous growth and expansion over the years. He is a pastor that emanates such joy and kindness that even a simple chat outside the local market leaves one feeling uplifted.

Their adult children, Lisa and Jonathan, are mirrors of their parents in that they exemplify the very same genuine traits that makes one feel blessed to know them.

So, of course, when I was asked to create this painting for their family, I was happy to oblige.

(You may be seeing a pattern here throughout these posts ... a painting is requested and I am always happy to fulfill that request :) Keep that in mind to any of you who may be considering a painting - - I would be more than happy to get those paintbrushes going for you, too! LOL)

Mrs. Kuert wished to present her parents with a home portrait for Christmas ... decorated for Christmas :) Yay!

Once I began the painting, I decided to take a drive that evening at dusk (isn't that sky beautiful?) ... to drive by their home and see how they decorated for the holidays. Luck was on my side that they were not too far away. I was told that her parents still, in their 90's, trimmed their home inside and out ...

... how about that? Twinkle lights strung with care and candlelight glow gleamed from the windows creating such warmth and welcome. It was a beautiful sight against the snowy backdrop. I was so glad to have taken that little trip, as it was important to me to capture their style - their traditions.

Surprisingly, this painting took only one day. Home portraits typically take a few days to a week depending upon detail, size and of course, my schedule. It surprised me so much, considering the tiny detail and intricate lines of the home; however, it just flowed so smoothly. I painted from the time I awoke until midnight that night ... just couldn't put that brush down!

I always enjoy painting a winter's evening with all its cozy warmth ... and adding wreaths & bows were simply icing on the cake!

I am finding that the more trees that I paint, it is the evergreens which I enjoy the most. Creating the depth and highlight of the pines and dusting it with snow, seems almost magical. I've always had a special place in my heart for evergreens - as it is the same place where I keep my pap. His childhood stories of claiming large towering evergreens as mighty fortresses has stayed with me ... I suppose my fascination began there. But, I do imagine that within those heavy boughs of pine, pap's story goes on as tiny animals and birds take refuge, nesting ... and being a king of their own castle :)

So, I thank you, Mrs. Kuert, for the opportunity to create this portrait for your family. It was a delight!

I wonder why calligraphy is no longer taught in school ... I suppose it is due to the overwhelming material that must be presented in order to prepare for the required state tests. It is unfortunate that my children's experiences in school are so vastly different than mine. However, that is another topic for another time. Perhaps I will revisit this technique with my summer girls. Our book club/art camp is around the corner, and knowing how time flies, it will surely be here before we know it. That is a lovely thought isn't it? Warm summer days ... well, for now I'll enjoy the coziness of the season and refill my coffee cup to keep me warm!
Happy Wednesday!
Never lose an opportunity to seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 comment:

Tolentreasures said...

How beautiful. I always procrastinate house paintings, wanting to get them perfect. You nailed it! What a great background of the family to think about as you paint. That definately helps!