As I wrote on Loudoun Baby Artist yesterday, this past month has been super busy for my wife and I, what with midwife appointments and preparing for the birth of our son, who was born over a week ago now! We had a home-birth, and he was born in our bedroom with the morning rise of the sun. Thanks be to God. Now I know what everyone meant when they said we’d be tired. Good grief!
Anyhow, I’ve been working on this painting of my nephew, which I started before our son was born. Now that our son is here, I’m trying to finish up this painting so that I can do a painting of our baby boy!
Here is a photo of the progression of the oil portrait of my nephew. It’s getting close to being finished! My sister will be in for a surprise when she receives this in the mail.
A few weeks ago I finished this oil portrait painting of my wife Brigitta’s maternal Nicaraguan grandmother (or ‘abuela’, in Spanish). Her name was Rafaela Corrales Toruño, and Brigitta simply called her “Abue.”
Abue had five children, three of which emigrated from Nicaragua to the U.S. in the 1970’s. Abue also came to the U.S. to accompany her first child to come here, Tía Ligia (Tía means “Aunt”, and Tía Ligia was Brigitta’s Aunt Ligia). Then, Brigitta’s Dad came on vacation to visit, which then turned into a permanent stay! Later on, Brigitta’s Tía Cecilia came as well. Abue’s other two children stayed in Nicaragua. So nowadays, we have family both in Northern Virginia and in Nicaragua (and in Argentina and Ecuador on Brigitta’s Mom’s side)!
I met Abue almost ten years ago, before I spoke much Spanish. Whenever I tried to speak to her in Spanish, she’d turn to Brigitta and say “¿Qué dice?”, or “What is he saying?”. I’m glad I got to experience her liveliness, kindness and family values. She was a true ‘family matriarch.’
Abue lived with Brigitta’s family during much of Brigitta’s childhood, and they spent lots of time together, abuela y nieta (granddaughter), on the famous couch shown in the painting below!
The creation of this painting was a process of gathering photos of the subjects, aligning them together into a scene to appear as if they had posed together, calculating and measuring proportions during the sketch, and then working magic with the paint and brush!
Here is a quick recap:
Measure, Calculate and Sketch
Put some music on and paint!
The last step now is to deliver the painting, which will happen either later today or tomorrow!
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a great time with your friends and family this week and next!