Friday, July 13, 2018

A Place of Love and Memories

A Place of Love and Memories
16 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018

For a very long time I did not have a personal account with Facebook, I only had my art account. Eventually I caved and suddenly I was connecting with old friends from high school and even elementary school. It was pretty exciting. It was wonderful to see where people have gone and what they have done; to see lives in full swing. As time moved along, some have taken note of my art and become huge supporters by encouraging me, offering great feedback and comments, and in some cases, actually becoming collectors.

One long-lost friend from elementary school has been following my journey and now has nine pieces in her collection and has given five of my paintings as gifts. It is overwhelming to me. I am beyond emotional about it and filled with gratitude. When she contacted me at the end of 2017 to see if I might consider doing a commission, I really wanted to say yes, but was extremely nervous that I couldn't pull off something meaningful enough. You see, her parents had recently sold the beloved family cabin at Emma Lake; a place where the kids grew up and where so many of their memories were made. It had to have been a difficult decision and I am sure emotions ran high when each of them left the cabin for the last time. She wondered if I might be able to paint a scene of the view from the cabin and she wanted it to be a gift to her parents. Now if I had more confidence I would have said yes without any hesitation, but I am not, so I had to ponder and study her photos and ask lots of questions to sort out what she hoped for. Also, I really didn't want to disappoint her. 

I am sure I was a bit irritating.

In the end I did say yes, and I chose to work from my friend's favourite image of the ones she sent me. The composition for the painting was difficult because of the row of trees between the cabin and the lake. I decided to play up the sparkle of light on the water and the flutter of the backlit autumn leaves in the canopy. To me these things represent the joy of the place. I hope the overall feeling of the painting conjures up memories of children playing, adults laughing and quiet chats around the fire. If, when anyone in the family sees this painting, it starts a nostalgic round of "Remember when...", then I will have done my job.

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