acrylic, oil, painting, fine art, Janelle Nichol, representational painting, landscape, house, homestead, serene, peaceful, dramatic sky

Welcome Home, a painting done for my parents. It is the house I grew up in.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a couple of posts about this painting. I did this as a gift to my parents. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year and they have moved into an apartment…they were previously “snowbirds” traveling back & forth from Canada to Arizona. Anyway, I thought that it would be nice to paint this for them so they can put it up in their new place. The house and yard was a very special place for my family and we have many great memories growing up there.

The two people in the painting are my mom on the porch and my dad working in the flowerbed. I wanted the end result to be somewhat symbolic of what our family has been going through this last year with my mom and so I wanted the sky to be a little dramatic but I also wanted to it to be peaceful and serene. It is a crazy thing this cancer. Sometimes I feel so devastated that I wonder if I will ever be able to paint again nevermind get out of bed. The next time, I feel desperately like I MUST paint & I’m not even the one that has the cancer! Here is a quote from my dad that he just wrote today about all this cancer craziness

  • “…and He has done this to pour His grace more abundantly on us to have Him more alive in our souls. Yes, these are days of desperation, and deeper ones may well be on the horizon; but they are also days of our souls vibrant with God’s life within, in wonder and grace. “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed…. Preparing for us a weight of glory beyond all comparison…And even today, cancer, does not rank on the same scale as the riches of His grace poured out on us in this present room; for He keeps track of every single cancer cell before and after the upcoming MRI.”

The biggest challenge with this painting was probably getting it from a place of blocked-in shapes, looking very basic and unoriginal to a painting that had depth and personality. It is one thing to be able to know how to paint in shapes, various elements and colors, it is another thing entirely to be able to paint intuitively where you are putting yourself in the painting, and viewers can observe that. It is what takes a painting from “that’s nice, you know how to paint trees and birds and shapes” to “this looks like it was meaningful to the artist, there is definitely emotion and passion in this painting”. I believe it is easy enough to learn techniques such as shapes, perspective, shading but if you can’t paint intuitively and with feeling than it’s not exciting and the result is very boring to the viewer.

For me, this process involves really thinking through the piece and figuring out all the details such as angles, how to get the important elements into the frame of the canvas,  mixing colors, mediums etc. to turning off my brain and just painting intuitively. What I mean by that is to trust that I have figured out the details and now I just paint by instinct and what feels right. Yes, that means I may have to make corrections but the outcome is so much preferable to a painting that features a subject that COULD be beautiful and SHOULD be beautiful but yet still has no life on the canvas. There is always that stage for me in all of my works & it is the most frustrating, stressful stage. At that point, I just keep going and all of a sudden it starts getting away from me and the “magic starts to happen”

So with this video, keep in mind, it is just the beginning stages of the painting. I would say it was just before the stage where I turn my brain off and start painting by instinct. You will notice some re-workings of elements, a complete angle change of the house (which it still bothers me that I didn’t start out at a 3/4 angle…I know better) & many layers of paint to achieve a transparency and a glow in the painting. I also used glazing mediums on almost every brush stroke and an airbrush towards the end. This is an acrylic painting with oil added at the end to bring out colors & a little more texture. Materials listed below. To see more detail photos check out the gallery below and click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.

  • Acrylic Paints- Chroma Atelier Interactive
  • Liquitex Glazing Medium
  • Golden Airbrush Medium
  • Holbein Water Miscible Oil Paints
  • Winsor and Newton Water Miscible Oil Paints
  • Various bristle and synthetic brushes

Oh, one more thing…all of the music in this video was created by moi! I won’t say I wrote it because it was Garageband and Mixcraft, but I will say that I mixed it,  I designed and I created it. Hey! I can’t have art as my hobby because it’s my job, and reading isn’t a hobby because it’s basically the same as living & breathing sooooo I guess I will start creating my own music as a hobby. Regardless, I’m the type of person that if I’m not creating in some way, I would legit lose my mind. I imagine it can be hard to live with me at times….Whether it’s any good or not? Well- I’ll let you guys be the judge of that 🙂 This will be the first time anyone has heard any of it other than my daughters. (YIKES) The music titles:

  • Elixir (intro clip)
  • Solar
  • Cerulean
  • Apricity
  • REM