Tag Archives: daughter

Happy New Year…

Edith and Christian, charcoal and wash on paper

Edith and Christian, charcoal and wash on paper, by Marion Langford

Happy New Year!  I am looking forward to another year of creativity in 2013 and have a number of projects in mind.

In closing 2012, with our daughter currently on exchange to France, we wanted to thank her “French parents” for their wonderful hospitality and for welcoming her into their family.  Nyomi asked if I would do a portrait of Edith and Christian for Christmas as a special gift and I was very happy to be able to create this drawing for them.  

Thank you Edith and Christian for being such lovely parents to our daughter and we look forward to your visiting us in Australia in the future.

Happy New Year!…”Celebration”

Dear Friends and Friends of my work

"Celebration", oil on board, 60cm x 90cm
“Celebration”, oil on board, 60cm x 90cm

Happy New Year and all the best for 2012!   May you enjoy a year of celebration and to start it off, I have chosen to share with you a very special painting which I have just completed titled “Celebration”.   (Well almost completed, I can see a couple of small adjustments I need to make.)

Over the last few months I have been working on what has turned out to be a major project being a portrait painting for my Mother for her 80th birthday on the 19th of January.  It began as a portrait of both her and my Dad celebrating her 79th birthday, however encouraged by my mentor, Nafisa, this was extended to include portraits of the family in the background.  My personal challenge of painting two portraits in one painting was extended to eight!  (I am the one on the right in the portrait of the four children).

While the painting has been challenging on a number of levels as an artist and as a daughter (with Dad’s health declining dramatically in the year), overall it has been an absolute joy to paint especially knowing the joy that it will bring to my mother.  Countless hours have gone into it’s creation from a full scale tonal drawing to begin with, before even beginning painting, to whole days of painting.   Dad’s shirt took a day in itself, mastering or endeavouring to get the sculpting, the tones and the check print.  It would have been a lot easier if it was a plain shirt, and as an artist it would have been easy to just paint it plain however Dad has always worn check shirts and this is one our family all knows. 

The gift to Mum feels more like a gift to me because somewhere in the process of its creation it has affirmed my love for portraiture, for painting from a space of joy and love and my desire to be able to paint portraits for others who will also treasure them. 

For me “Celebration” is not just about celebrating Mum’s 80th birthday, but about celebrating the union between Mum and Dad for the 59 or so years they have been together, through sickness and health (the way Mum’s hand is resting on Dad’s arm), it’s about celebrating family and life and recording it for all time.   Surrounded by roses from her garden and with Mum’s signature sponge cake in front of them (and which I recalled while painting that I had helped decorate), this painting captures so much of our family history. 

It has been a celebration for me to be able to create this painting for Mum and I am grateful for the teachers who have helped me to develop as an artist over the years, and particularly in these last two with Nafisa focussing on my portraiture skills.

If you look closely, behind Dad’s head in the painting is the corner of a small portrait with just the forehead showing of  our daughter, Nyomi.  I wanted to have atleast one of the grandchildren included in the painting to indicate the generations, even though it was suggested at one stage that perhaps I could leave that small painting out of the picture.  It wasn’t until much further along in the painting that I realised how important it was Nyomi was included because one day she will actually inherit this painting and it will be her’s to pass on in our family. 

Some years ago now before I had actually taken lessons in portraiture, I did a portrait of Nyomi holding a chook on my parent’s farm and in the background of this painting is just the arm of her grandfather, my Dad, wearing one of the cardigans he has always worn.  Again someone suggested I leave Dad’s arm out of the picture and yet I am so glad I didn’t because it has captured three generations in the painting…Nyomi, her grandfather at her side and myself by way of having painted it.  Part of the power and the significance of the painting would have been lost without Dad’s presence and likewise had Nyomi not been included in Mum’s painting.  The painting of Nyomi is in my portrait gallery and is called “Love”.  In fact, there is a lot of love in both these paintings.

So I hope you too can join in and enjoy “Celebration” and may 2012 be a year to celebrate your life, family, friendships, your passions and all that is important to you.

With best wishes for 2012,

Marion

 

Born at 6.00 pm! Exhibition opened.

Last night was the official opening of my first major exhibition and a great success.  Along with four other emerging female artists and friends, it was wonderful to finally be launched.  With over 300 guests, family and friends, collectors and friends of the gallery, the evening was perfect with Sydney turning on one of its balmy Summer evenings.  While we each had entered exhibitions before, this was the first exhibition that any of us had ever organised and the first opportunity to showcase a significant body of our work.

To see so many people come along to celebrate this milestone for all of us and with sales happening, commissions being discussed, it was very exciting. 

The day itself was another story though…  After a morning spent at the gallery finalising the preparations for the evening’s opening, it was home for some quiet time and gathering of self in preparation.  Yet for me, this was no quiet time.  I needed to prepare a speech to open the evening and I was unable to relax.  I felt like I was being squeezed and  I got a real sense of being birthed.  A train of events had been set in place for some time now and the moment was nearing, quickly.   I was in the birthing canal, the contractions had started and come what may at 6.00 pm I was going to arrive.  There was no turning back, try as I might,  and I was coming feet first! 

And my saving grace, to paint.  Domestics were not “doing it for me” and yet I knew that if I just got out my paints and painted for a while, it would make the difference.  And so that is exactly what I did.  It was so easy for me to get caught up in all the hype of the lead up and the ‘what ifs’ that go through your mind, however I knew that if I just sat down and painted it would transform my being.  And it did.  I had recently commenced painting a portrait of a beautiful friend, with a gentle soul and so it was wonderful to sit “with her” and to paint her hair.   That portrait will always have a special place in my heart, for it was like sitting with a silent friend as a witness and presence in my moment of truth.

And while I sat there painting two of my closest friends arrived from Canberra.  They had driven to Sydney especially for the evening to offer their support and witness my “birth”.  It was then time to get ready,  so transforming from behind my black painter’s apron to my little black dress, it was off to what turned out be a wonderful evening and memorable event in my life.  It was also special to have my husband and daughter helping on the evening and giving their support to this moment for me.