Friday, February 2, 2018

Amira's 6th Birthday Painting

Where Fairies Play  2017 oil on canvas 12" x 16"

Sometimes our daughters give me direction, sometimes the children do and sometimes there is no direction at all. I don't recall asking Amira for input nor do I remember her giving me any feedback, so I was on my own to come up with something a six year old girl would like.

The start

I was pretty excited about how the powdered (pan) pastels looked when I used them over my 12" x 12" commercial tree stencil - on paper.  However, when I used the stencil and the pastel pigments on a prepared canvas they simply wouldn't take.  Not at all.

Laying in colour with acrylic on the canvas

There was to be no shortcut, I had to paint the tree. The castle is borrowed from the internet.  I flipped it because I had placed the tree on the left ...

Internet image of the Disney castle, Anaheim, CA

All coloured in in acrylic - now what?

Once again I was not satisfied with the look of the painting, in acrylic paint, so I switched to oil. You might say I retreated to my comfort zone ...

With a coat of oil paint
Here I extended the bank of trees, to the left, and refined the castle a bit more ...
... and added a couple more fairies

The tree was a challenge. I had difficulty convincing myself that it looked authentic. As the painting dragged on, for eight days, I eventually had to tell myself that it was a fantasy piece, how authentic did that tree have to be after all

The final touch was adding the row of blue cornflowers, from where the fairy on the left had plucked her flower. I chose to leave Tinker Bell out of the painting.

Where Fairies Play  2017 oil  on canvas 12" x 16"

The parcel, with this painting, her brother's painting and the entire Manila family's birthday and Christmas gifts did not make it in time for Christmas. It's arrival, in January, seemed a disappointment at first but it was actually bit of a blessing in that the family had a second Christmas while Bill and I, here in Canmore, were able to witness the gift opening in a FaceTime call.

January 3rd, 2018, next to momma Laura, Amira opens her birthday painting 
The lovely Amira with her painting, February 2nd, 2018

Happy sixth birthday Amira!

Amira's official 6th birthday photo shoot. Her actual birthday is December 9th


  1. Ok THIS is my favourite now. Maybe next time ... fairies driving the Royal Hudson? Whaddaya say Alice?

  2. You know I love this painting - that tree just sings with magic, and I'm entranced with the fairy mom watching her children play. Pure delight, my oh-so-magical friend! xo

    1. Fairy Mom eh, never thought of her that way but now that you mention it - she is older than the other two and does have a look of "Oh, those kids of mine" on her face!