Monday, May 7, 2007



NEIGHBOR
is the current Illustration Friday theme. This is a painting I did last year, a small quick oil sketch of a neighbor who dropped by with a huge bunch of white lilac from her garden. I had my camera close to hand and snapped a quick shot. The painting was in an exhibit and I invited the neighbor. She had not seen the painting completed, and when she came to the show, I think she was surprised and even somewhat horrified, a reaction I simply had not anticipated. I felt pretty bad, she is a very nice lady and a great neighbor. But she has never again stopped by with flowers from her garden...alas!

Neighbor with Flowers oil on canvas board 8 x 10 inches

29 comments:

bookbabie said...

Why was she horrified? It's a lovely painting:)

miriam said...

This neighbor looks like a lovely lady. Nothing to be horrified or surprised about. Like your other work too.

ksklein said...

the painting is indeed lovely. but i´m not sure how old she is. on this pic she looks a little bit like a grandma. maybe she didn´t like that?

i would anyway be honored to be painted - specially if the painting is nice as this one. i wouldn´t care whether i look older or younger.

Mike Buchheit said...

such a beautiful painting... yum!

-- kim buchheit

JO said...

Such a lovely painting, Sorry she was horrified (even sorrier she won't be bringing you white lilacs).

Nancy Bea said...

Hi everyone, thanks for your kind and supportive comments! I should explain that yes, this nice lady is indeed a grandmother, up in her sixties, with a traditional "grandmotherly" build. When she saw the piece she said "I had not realized I was so old and fat!" which was very sad. I thought she looked lovely. I guess it is just sometimes a shock to see ourselves as others see us, however kindly their vision.

mike r baker said...

How on earth could she be horrified by such a lovely painting? But I can see being upset about one's own appearances - we tend to imagine ourselves looking different than what a camera or artist would portray.

I so love your paintings, Nancy.

Alina Chau said...

very nice painting!

Manelle said...

Nice painting. The colors are really fabulous. I really like the character and the expression on her face.

Natura said...

Terrific painting! Would be honored if I was your neighbor.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

A nice illustration and an interesting story! Thanks for sharing both of them!

md said...

wonderful painting and i agree with ur comment u women are very concense ( bad spelling) when it comes to how u look speically in public and im sure she did want the publc seeing her except at her best.

DesigningFairy said...

How could she be horrified? This is a beautiful painting--rich with textures and colors.

Greg Hartman said...

I agree it is a lovely painting, great color choices as always. I too have painted a couple that was in their seventies and it had to be revised several times due to them not wanting to realize how they really appeared. I never did completely satisfy them, even though I shaved off at least a decade or so. I thought they were a very handsome couple as they were in reality too.

Bronwyn said...

I think generally we let our next door neighbours see us as we are, ''round the house', without our hair & makeup done, & in our sloppy clothes. I can quite understand her horror to be depicted like this, in an unguarded moment. We would like 'our best self' portrayed in photographs & paintings, ie with our hair & makeup done, in attractive clothing, as our public persona. Please note that I am not criticising the painting in any way. Remember also: your perception is only yours. Just because you believe something to be true does not make it true for everyone. We need to look for the beauty in others.

ernie said...

Beautiful, fresh brushwork. I don't think your neighbor was unhappy with the painting - just the years.

imwithsully said...

To find a subject that paints well is not an easy task. Your model has the rich effect of age.

Thanks for the comment about Harnett and Peto on my space.

Shano said...

Lovely! Beautiful colors and mood.

Michelle Lana said...

awesome piece!

Ian T. said...

The light and composition of this piece is brilliant - I love the dark framing and shading of the figure on the left, contrasting against the white framing and lit hair and flowers on the right. The feel of this also communicates so much personality and humanity. Perfect for the topic too!

Linda said...

Its perfect for the prompt. i think she looks beautiful, its a lovely painting its too bad she was horrified maybe after 10 years she'll realize how beautiful she looked.

Joy Eliz said...

This is beautiful! Surely she wasn't horrified :)

Sarah said...

Such a shame she did not like how you saw her - like everyone else i think she looks lovely - it's also a lovely painting. I know you describe it as a sketch, but to me it looks finished enough - gives it a lovely softness.

Jules said...

Nice painting and great story to go with it. Maybe she thinks you're a stalker now?!

shou' said...

Great paintings. I wanted to posted a comment on your News blog, but I didn't see the little comment icon.

I was going through some of your pieces and I was wondering if you're approaching your pieces with the Alla Prima method.

Janice said...

lovely soft painting...a lot of people cannot dissassociate themselves from their own mental image until they see a picture of themselves..(my sister didnt know she was overweight until she saw a photo) . then she saw! Your model is a beautiful woman who is aging gracefully...

arvindh said...

That is beautifully rendered. I like how her flowers match her hair!

i - lustraluna said...

Linda pintura. La luz es calida y suave. Como el momento que retrataste. Muy bella.

Auntie Mim said...

This is a lovely painting.