“Gratitude”


Gratitude

“Gratitude”

It is so interesting to me that just by simply being grateful, one is able to move themselves closer to a healing state, able to remove stress, attract prosperity, calm themselves down, come out of depression, be joyful and even affect others in a positive manner.

http://heartmath.org has done some amazing research into understanding the heart and it is so inspiring for me because I see such great potential in not only helping and healing ourselves and our loved ones, but I see great potential in healing other people, blessing others, lifting others up…and why wouldn’t we? 

My dad and mom raised 9 children, in those days there were many large families and I am so happy and thankful that I was raised in this one. Some of the things that I remember my dad teaching us is to always be kind and caring, loving and compassionate, sharing and respectful.

He always taught us that we are all human beings, all made the same and that we all deserve to have the best life possible. That’s what I remember, that is what I took away from my childhood, in a time when racial discrimination was still alive he made a point of teaching us that was not acceptable.  It was a time when we didn’t lock our doors, we didn’t even take the keys out of the car. We trusted and we were trustworthy. We were grateful for what we had and felt as rich as could be when my dad came home with groceries. 🙂 Oh what joy.

My parents grew up during the “great depression.” Times were more than tough back then, many families sent their children off to orphanages because they couldn’t afford to raise them. I remember my mom telling us about how there was no sugar available here and so people just went without (I now know that having no sugar is a blessing.) She told us how the poor had to eat whole wheat bread and the rich ate white bread. Time sure have changed.

When I was growing up I thought that our family was the only family who was “poor” and that idea didn’t even come into my mind until I started going to school, children will say the darndest things and I was so tender hearted (still am) that I took it all in. I think it makes sense that ,because we are social beings and we have mirroring neurons, we are affected by those around us whether positive or negative. 

In my family growing up, I remember that we were grateful (as grateful as children can be) and I am still grateful to this day no matter what. I feel as though I am among the wealthiest on this planet.

I know that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. So I make a point of speaking gratitude, speaking love, speaking compassion, speaking joy, speaking health; try it if you haven’t already and see how your heart and life becomes overgrown with such an abundance that you cannot help but give it away.

I just wanted to share my painting and some of my thoughts (I could go one forever) on my parents, my life and gratitude.

I also want you all to know that I am writing my blog posts with very little editing so please forgive the errors. If I started editing I would never share anything since it takes so much time for  me to do so.

As my Instagram [heatherdawnkemp ] says, this is “me, as is, the real deal, always living to do better, love more, understand more.”  

This painting is 36 x 48 inches oil on canvas. I see this painting as a testament of love, gratitude, abundance, prosperity, family and value for all the lives we encounter daily. Love is the key.

Where do I envision this piece you might ask? In a beautiful dining room where it can be most appreciated is my first thought, it was created to reside in that special place where Gratitude is paramount in honor of my dad. 

Enjoy your life, take time for your precious self, love others and wow the world.

hugs ❤

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Wallpaper Paintings


As long as I can remember I have absolutely loved different types of papers, textures, cards and books. When I was younger I would spend as much time as I was able to inside the store looking at and touching all of the greeting cards. While I was attending Art College one of my favorite places to be was in the college’s art supply/bookstore selecting out art supplies. They had sample books with paper samples in it; that was just something that I liked doing. Another favorite place for me is the hardware stores, I know funny…but the smell of wood just catches me in a nostalgic way and I could linger strolling through a hardware store forever. They also have samples of paint and wallpaper…oh my wallpaper is so rich. I don’t really like wallpapered walls, but wallpaper itself is fun to experiment and play with; when I say play I mean to collage with it or paint on it. I have a few rolls of different types of wallpaper that I have been collecting over the years and finally decided today that I would like to paint on pieces to see what effects I can get. Of course one of my favorite subjects to paint is the human face. I plan on painting many quick sketches on pieces of this beautiful textured wallpaper and then after it is dry my plan is to mount select ones onto these walnut framed panels that I have. I have a feeling this project might take some time but I think it is well worth it. The photo of the painting below is my first “Wallpaper Lady” which I did today.
I painted it in oils and my colors are Titanium White, Raw Umber, and a touch of Phthaloe Blue in some areas. The subject is from an old black and white (sepia colored) photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron from the 1800’s

Vintage Wall Flower

Commissioned


I’ve heard many artists say that they “don’t like commissions” but for me, it has become a huge welcome. A commission is not just money in the bank, it is an awesome opportunity to connect with people, it is also a chance to be challenged to create something that someone else wants. I love the interaction with people and am blessed to have requests for commission paintings.
I took photographs of the stages from this commissioned portrait because, for me, that is such an exciting part of what I do. I absolutely love seeing the painting emerge from the canvas. I also am posting a photo of my limited palette.

I’m looking forward to helping you own your commissioned portrait of a milestone in your life or as a celebration of the ones you love.

Enjoy 🙂 thanks for always being here!

Lara

palette

stage 1

stage 2

stage 3

stage 4

stage 5

stage 6

stage 7

Andree in the Light.


Andree in the Light

Click image to view larger.

Andree in the Light
16 x 20
oil on panel

“When I first started painting I just thought it was something I’d like to do — and if I could make some money at it, then I didn’t have to get a job! As I went further into it, I needed confirmation that the things I was discovering in paint were true. I found that if it was true in painting, it was also true in life. Painting is like an interlocking set of relationships — color, edges, values, thick and thin, etc. Life is the same. Everything is interrelated. All of life is like one big, interlocking relationship. Everything you do has a consequence to everything else.” David Leffel
I absolutely love the light, this girl played Andree (the model who married Renoir’s son) in the film Renoir.

The images in the film are so beautiful. I don’t always have the luxury of having a model so I seek sources that are challenging yet beautiful.

Valerie


 

Valerie

 

Click image to view larger.

 

I met Valerie at the PureNorth S’energy Foundation. She is so sweet and attentive. The very first time I went to the Dental Clinic I handed her my card and months later when I went for the Tennant Clinic [pain relief] she remembered me which made me feel good.

I couldn’t help but notice that she has much the same taste in her style of dress as my youngest daughter and so this was the beginning of my topic of conversation with her. She is a very gentle and caring young lady and I felt that there was an instant connection with her.

I invited Valerie to come over to my studio for a portrait painting session, I admitted that I need all the practice I can get painting from life, she agreed to do that. Today was the big day, she sat patiently for me and we had a good time. We talked about many different topics and that really touches my heart because she is near the same age as my children, so to have a young person converse with me is very rewarding.

I pray that she was equally rewarded by having this experience, because making memories and having experiences is what it is all about. I hope to give back to her many times over in the near future through classes. It was the beginning of hopefully many more sessions. 🙂

Thank you Valerie.

 

Leah


Leah

 

Over the past years I have come to the realization that a painting is not just something captured on a board or canvas to look at. It is the experience that the artist has encountered, it is time which the artist has captured and held still onto the surface in order to be revisited over and over again. A painting to inspire, or stir up one’s emotions or speak out against tyranny…or simply is beautiful to behold are all meaningful and historical pieces ensuring perpetual discourse to as many souls as possible.

A painting or any other art work is antiquity, fleeting moments that are stilled and preserved for years to come.

This is a piece of the artist, drawing snippets and morsels from their life experiences that has brought them (me) to that particular point in time. What value can we place on that?

This is a session that I had with a beautiful young lady named Leah. She is a nurse who works for Pure North S’ynergy Foundation http://www.purenorth.ca/ she works so hard, most often at the homeless shelter http://www.theseed.ca/ starting in the wee hours of the morning in order to help the vulnerable before they head out the door for the day.

Leah is also co-founder of an orphanage called  Darja Foundation here is the link. https://www.facebook.com/darajafoundationinc?pnref=story  http://www.daraja.ca/

Daraja means bridge in Swahili, isn’t that lovely? Isn’t that what life is all about bridging relationships between fellow, flesh and blood human beings?  🙂

I met Leah at Pure North (which is another story for another time but please read about them, the founder of this program is a very generous and caring man Allan Markin) and have had the pleasure of spending time with her creating our artwork.

Leah lost all of her art supplies (among other things) in the Calgary flood that happened in 2013 and that is why she comes to paint with me at my studio. She paints her artwork while I paint her. We spend our time working and listening to music while we get to connect and share our experiences in life.

This thing called art has brought me in touch with a lovely young lady who has blessed my life.

Thank you Leah and thank you to all of you who stop by and take the precious time to read and comment.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-Dawn-Fine-Art/1015450641815718?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

http://homestudio1.com/

 

Stay With It


Even though there are days when everything seems to be going wrong, even the most simple of tasks are a challenge, I can say with confidence stay with it.

We hear it all the time, but it isn’t something that seems real unless you push through it yourself. Trials come our way and we tend to give up, but that is the most important time to stay  the course, don’t give up!

When I worked for a sales company, one of the leading instructors would say to me…”You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.” In other words he was saying that it is a good thing to learn from others’ mistakes and successes. Well yes, that is easy to say but until we actually do take good advice and apply it to our situation, we may continue to reinvent the wheel.

I have been constantly setting the standard for my work higher and higher by constantly learning and applying the skills that I could. When I would apply those skills I was happy with the results, until the next day, because I am constantly pushing to grow and hone my skills. This can be depressing and sometimes it is…but because I have this intense desire to do the work it pushes me to do more.

Today was one of those days, I study other works, I apply techniques and it just doesn’t seem to cut it…well I kept at it and finally I thought of trying something different, it took 3 or 4 tries until I decided to start this painting from the other direction, dark to light; however when I saw what was emerging I liked it so much that I left it at that. I think this image is one that I can do over and over to continue to learn from so expect to see more of this one.

step 1 _0974step 2_0975step 3_0976fin_0978    step 4_0977

This Van Gogh quote is encouraging to me because I know Who is the source of LOVE and I find it to be very true.

 

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.