I recall one of my professors saying in class that he loves it when an artist paints when he is starving. There is a difference in work, so I hear, when an artist paints because he wants to, versus painting because he has to. Perhaps you can tell the difference?

After a year of being commissioned to do a painting (a baby and a big move to CT later), I finally finished it. If you ask me the hours it took, I can’t tell you. But I can tell you that it was almost all done while Megan slept during the night. I grew A LOT in this painting, trying to figure out what colors for skin looked best, and getting it just right to where the person looks real. By the time I got to the third person, I was far more confident in my strokes and was able to complete him in half the time than on the first. I had never done a portrait of this magnitude, 22×27. But it was a complete joy to create, and I hope that I can be commissioned to do more portraits like this in the future. Painting people would be so wonderful to paint.

Next, I had a friend who recently got married. This friend had been one of my bridesmaids for my wedding, and I wanted to do something special for her. I told her that I would like to give her a gift if she could give me the name of her Photographer. Miyo Strong was very considerate in allowing me to use her photograph of one of their engagement pictures to paint a portrait for them as a wedding gift. After coming home from my waitressing job, I stayed up until two AM and completed this in a night. The paint was all one color: Paynes Grey, which is a great navy blue that is easier to erase than other watercolors. The snow that you see was a result of “misket,” a liquid rubber that I sprayed on with a toothbrush. Once it was dry I could paint over it, then when my paint was dry and the painting was finished, I could wipe the misket off, revealing the original white canvas. They look so beautiful in the snow.

I pray you all are doing well. I can’t wait for the snow to come in Connecticut – it’s getting cold!

Laura D’Onofrio