Before 2016 is upon us and new projects begin, I’d better update all the December happenings… and there were many!
I was pleased to be commissioned to do 3 works – an original piece, a “Sketchy Memory” piece, and a family heirloom piece, all for year end. With the permission of these clients, I’m able to share 2 of them on the blog.
The “Sketchy Memory” is of a pizzicheria (deli shop) in Siena, Italy, taken from a favourite travel photo. The client told me they were happily surprised to see their reflection in the window with all these yummy Italian specialities and the iconic bicycle, and so she wanted the reflection to be present in the painting. As a fellow lover of Italian travel, this piece was a joy to do. And it stretched my planning skills in a big way because the timing of what-got-painted-when was important.
My next commission was of a family heirloom. The subject is a copper and bronze door knocker that hung on the family front door for many years. This door knocker was produced likely in the early 1930’s, replicating a bas-relief based on a late 1600’s story of revenge that took place in Québec, Canada. The story goes that a family dog was killed in a bitter war of neighbours over land rights, and after the dispute was settled, one neighbour had this bas-relief made and affixed to his house. The original bas-relief is now on the St. Laurent building in Québec City. Its English translation reads:
I am a dog gnawing my bone
In so doing I rest alone
A time will come that’s yet to be
When I bite he who’s bitten me
My client was unaware of the image’s fascinating history, but I told her that Google had a fair bit on the subject. Seems this “chien d’or” image was also put on other items besides door knockers.
A final piece of art news – an urban sketch of mine was chosen for the cover of the Toronto Urban Sketchers first book, “Disappearing Landmarks in Toronto”. This is a project that our Urban Sketchers group has been working on for many months – drawing a number of heritage buildings and familiar landmarks in Toronto that are slated for total or partial demolition. I was so honoured to see my sketch of the shuttered McLaughlin Planetarium on the cover. The book was launched at our first Art Show in Toronto this month, and is now for sale on Amazon here.
A busy December, for sure! Hopefully 2016 brings more of the same!
Happy New Year!