Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a special vancouver special

My blogging has been sporadic lately as I try to catch up on my commissions and gallery work (and ignore all the ideas that keep popping into my head for new work), not to mention the fact that I'd totally forgotten how time-consuming a puppy can be! I haven't spent any more time running or swimming or working out -- less actually -- but I've been burning off enough extra energy every week that I've actually dropped a few pounds. Cowabunga! I wonder if there's a weight loss marketing strategy in this?

Anyway, I just finished my latest house painting and it was an interesting process, as it always is. Marc contacted me last spring about commissioning a portrait of the west side house he shares with his partner, Jeff, but the minute I heard the words Vancouver Special my heart sank. This is Vancouver's mid/late-century answer to ugly, affordable housing:

But when I saw the actual house I was delighted. They have renovated it very nicely and Jeff's gardens are lovely (though mostly obscured in the portrait). The one problem I could foresee was a lack of colour in the grey house in mostly green surroundings. Nothing a little obnoxiously vivid underpainting and extra flowers won't fix!

In the final stages I repainted the lime-green background foliage with a more subdued jade green as it was all just a bit too much for the eye. Then I added some detail under the deck after talking with Marc. Since I photographed his house on a sunny May day the camera compressed everything in the shadows and highlights and I couldn't remember what was down there so I had left it blank. As for the dragon at the gate, that's Marcel, their bloodthirsty (but fluffy) terrier.

Marc and Jeff's House
" x 14" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas


Blogger nadine said...

Love love it.
Glad to hear you are keeping busy :-)

18/11/08 12:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's beautiful - I bet they loved it.

18/11/08 1:01 p.m.  
Blogger Alda said...

You have a new puppy??

I've been away too long, haven't I.

Beautiful painting, as always. Happy.

18/11/08 2:59 p.m.  
Blogger Angela Wales Rockett said...

I am sooo impressed! You can make any house beautiful.

Glad to hear you're busy with commissions and such.

18/11/08 3:10 p.m.  
Blogger corine said...

Great to be able to witness the process

18/11/08 3:43 p.m.  
Blogger Ellen said...

Wonderful! I wish I actually had some attachment to my house, then I'd be calling you to paint mine.

18/11/08 4:10 p.m.  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

A Vancouver Special could actually be inspiring. Damn, but you're good, my very talented friend.

18/11/08 4:14 p.m.  
Blogger Michelle Grant said...

Fantastic!! You make these houses so much *more* than what they really are.

18/11/08 9:19 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Nadine: I've had enough of being busy. A little break down south, say Winston-Salem, might be nice. :)

Citizen: So far so good but they haven't seen the actual finished product yet. I still need to varnish it.

Alda: You're forgiven. After all, life has been just a LITTLE distracting in your corner of the world lately...

Angela: Thank you! And it's better to have work than not, but sometimes I wish I didn't have everything else to stay on top of as well so I could focus better.

Corine: I've become compulsive about photographing the steps!

Ellen: One day you'll have the house you really want. Me too. :)

Ian: Thanks for that and I do love a challenge!

Michelle: A picture's worth a thousand words...?

18/11/08 9:28 p.m.  
Blogger Toni said...

The house portrait is lovely. I swear you can make anything look awesome.

Busy is a good thing. I think. I have come to accept busy as normal now.

Have fun with the puppy!!

19/11/08 3:15 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow! I can't believe this is the same house in that top pic. You are crazy good my dear. Love it!

19/11/08 9:31 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Toni: God knows we don't need time to think about how fast time is passing, do we? :)

Andie: It's not! Check out the link where I say "the actual house" and that will take you to the actual house. The top photo is similar to how it started before it was renovated.

19/11/08 10:02 a.m.  
Blogger LDahl said...

I don't know who should be congratulated more, Marc and Jeff or your painting of their work...applause for you all.

19/11/08 5:40 p.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

Wonderful house portrait - as per your norm. So, are you caught up yet? :-)

19/11/08 7:30 p.m.  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Not only have the couple done an amazing renovation job on their home, you have really captured it with paint and canvas. And - who doesn't love a westie??

One of the things I love about your paintings is the vivid color and energy that seems to vibrate off the canvas!

Can you bottle that diet strategy?

20/11/08 6:07 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

LDahl: Their work took more time and patience than mine, but what a great result. They get to live in it!

Tara: I can see the light at the end of the tunnel... Better get to it.

Cynthia: Thanks and if I could I'd be a millionaire...

20/11/08 10:55 a.m.  
Blogger Michelle said...

Andrea, you have a special gift of making everything look beautiful and new and full of life.
Paint me!

20/11/08 11:17 a.m.  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Top job!
I was trying to explain to someone the reasons for underpainting;the easy way will be to show her this!

21/11/08 11:13 a.m.  
Blogger Lisa Lorenz said...

Beautiful work and style you have, Lisa in Ottawa

21/11/08 1:56 p.m.  
Blogger Catnapping said...

I love the way you shadowed the two halves...the detail is stunning. beautiful work.

23/11/08 2:30 p.m.  

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