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"A Celebration Of Love"
March 09 2016
Oil Paint on Canvas
11" x 14"
This artwork has so much meaning to me. Here's the story ...
~ I had wanted to be a Teacher since I was 12 years old. I worked my butt off all throughout Secondary School and University, doing an extra year of courses, completing extra qualifications, and even traveling to Ecuador to volunteer. When it came time to get the job I'd worked so hard for it turned out there were none available. Greedy Universities were flooding the teaching market with new teachers to the point where I couldn't even find a volunteer position. How insane is that? I was devastated. Thankfully I'd started my Art Career part time and was seeing some success. I had never allowed myself to put much hope into a full-time Art career because for some reason it just never seemed like a realistic option. But hey! My realistic option certainly didn't pan out so, thanks to the support of my selfless and loving fiance, I decided to leave my dream of being a teacher in the past (and the broken heart that came with it) and fully immerse myself into my TRUE dream.
~ It took some folks a while to get on board. I don't think many of my friends took me very seriously. But I think out of everyone it was hardest for my Grandparents to accept. Living in Toronto meant I didn't see them very often, and maybe because of that they didn't quite see how serious I was about my new path, but every time I'd see them they always asked about teaching and how sad it was that I wasn't a teacher. But as the years went on and I became more and more successful I think it became clear to them that Teaching was no longer on my radar and that despite the odds all artists face I was making a living doing something I was very good at and that I loved. Having this experience made this commission extra special to me. My Mémère and Pépère contacted me last year in order to commission this 11" x 14" wedding portrait of my Matante Fran and Duane as a gift for their 10 yr anniversary. It felt really amazing knowing that they not only trusted me with such a special item but also that they wanted to support my new career path. It really meant a lot to me.
~ Creating this custom portrait was also very special because, like I said, it portrays my Matante Fran and Duane on their wedding day. When my Matante Fran received her official wedding photos after the big day she was very disappointed. They didn't have the professional look since the photographer hadn't used any backdrops or lighting. Can you imagine how devastating that would be? Not having a nice picture of the most special day of your life? This always made me so sad so it was very exciting creating something beautiful for her. Something they could proudly hang on their wall to commemorate that amazing day. It was such a challenge. I was working from the aforementioned not-great photos and on a very small scale. I swore to myself I would never do anything like it again! Haha! But in the end it looks stunning and I was very proud to hand it off to my grandparents here in this photo.
~ Also, as many of you know my Papa Gilles Prud'homme Master Carver is a professional artist part time (along with a full time job as an Electrician at one of Sudbury's local mines) and was a big artistic influence for me throughout my life. He still inspires me with his incredible skill for detail and his belief in me that I can achieve my dream of making a comfortable living as an artist. But what some of you may not know is that my Pépère was also a part time Carver! A talent for the arts really does run in my blood. So you can imagine my Pépère has been an inspiration to me as well. On top of being an amazing artist I have also looked up to him in other ways. I love this man very deeply. He is so soft and kindhearted. And, like me, he LOVES to laugh! I have so many happy memories of him taking us fishing, teaching me to play pool, but most of my memories are of him laughing. He’s got the best laugh! Haha! It was cool making this piece for him and hearing that he was impressed with it. I just love that he passed down his knack for capturing realism through the generations to me. Such an amazing thought!
~ Lastly, I love my Grandparents very much and it was really nice to have this moment with them. I don't get to see them very often and we don't often take nice pictures together because both my Mémère and Pépère dislike taking pictures and are shy about smiling in them. It's always a struggle let me tell ya! Haha! But I really do think this photo turned out beautifully and I'm definitely going to cherish it.