Tag Archives: Happy New Year

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

 

A happy New Year…

New Year’s day began with painting and has each beautiful day since.  What better start to the New Year!  I have already completed another triptych in my “trunks” series and am on to my next project. 

I have been enjoying the healing power of painting and my latest “trunks” captures this all for me.  I had begun this project just prior to going into hospital in December and had prepared the canvasses with impasto.  On my return post-op they sat and looked at me, ghost gums, until I began to feel my strength returning and until one day I just knew that I needed to begin their painting and that in the process it would help my recovery.  So although feeling somewhat fragile and tender, I stood before this triptych and began to wash in some colours and as the turpsy mix dribbled and seeped its way into and down the canvas trunks, I could feel the blood running back into my veins.  Beautiful burnt sienna, permanent crimson, french ultramarine blue all of these transforming the ghost gums in front of my eyes and at the same time working their healing powers on me.  Away for the Christmas period, it was not until 1 January I was able to return to my trunks and to working into the colours, deepening their strength and richness, again enhancing on previous trunks in the series.  Pure joy!

The other delight on January 3 was to deliver a “surprise” portrait gift to my friend/lecturer/coach, Donna.  We met for breakfast at the Pavilion, Balmoral Beach, with her son and in this exquisite surrounding, I presented her with her gift.  I had said that I wanted to do so “face to face” unbeknown to her so I could see her face (when she saw hers!).  After the initial shock, she was then overwhelmed and I was able to share with her the story of “Donna”.  To my surprise and delight, Donna modestly said “it was better than real life” which was encouraging for me as my new portrait teacher had said that this was the first “rule” for portraiture.  And her son has given his stamp of approval…”Mum it really does look like you”.