Last week I was commissioned to paint a girls hostel for a non profit organization called Rising Star Outreach located near Chennai, India. It’s a school for the children whose families come from leprosy colonies, and gives them the gift of good health, clean food and water, and an opportunity to dream and learn for their future. On top of that they also provide care and love¬† for the people inside the colonies. It’s a beautiful organization, and my 5 year old daughter is sponsoring one of the girls her age at Rising Star, so they both can grow in education together in separate parts of the world.
The current girl’s hostel is where all the girls sleep at night, and it has become overcrowded. Rising Star is currently fundraising to build a new hostel, and they will be dedicating the new building in the name of a couple who has donated a lot of time and donations to Rising Star. This painting will be given to them as a gift.
With a painting marathon of three days, I was able to pull it off with only an architect’s sketch. Thankfully it was a building, and not a portrait, because portraits take four times as long.
The people in the sketch had business suits on, which of course that was not appropriate. So I changed them to Indian girls in their beautiful saris. Also I was asked to keep the green grass light, because the grass is not lush there, but is always asking for more water. The path I was told had hexagonal shapes, and since I didn’t want to kill myself over painting every hexagon, I made suggestions of it instead.

On the last hour I felt the painting looked just “blah.” It was nothing special, so I decided to outline it all in pen, and I am glad that I did. It made the whole painting pop out and say “Heyyy!!”¬†

I was asked to add the names of the couple being honored above the hostel painting. My client was overjoyed when she saw the final piece. It was better than what she imagined, which is always good to have that kind of positive reaction.
I love the Rising Star Outreach organization very much. It was an honor to paint for them.
See You Soon!