A painting starts with a humble beginning – reminding me of Séraphine

Darkness is settling heavily down on an already soggy afternoon. I have worked with my daylight lamp most of the day, finishing a painting and then touching up a new one and an older one. Now, I am roughing in a 30 X 40 inch oil on canvas tentatively called REACHING THE SEA. Each painting starts with a humble beginning, filled with hope and possibility. I love this stage. It is easy to put expectations aside. Later I will have to be firm about staying in the process but not now.

It doesn’t look like much yet and as I struggled to get quick shot of it to share with you, I wished for more light. For some reason, this reminded me of the French Artist Séraphine Louis, also know as “Séraphine de Senlis,” who would work during the day as domestic worker – and then she would paint by candle light late into the night. She also had to find and buy the ingredients to mix her own paints. At this moment, I hug my digital camera and give thanks for my daylight lamp, my prepared paints and canvas, and the luxury of being able to focus just on my art.

SEED: Who is Séraphine de Senlis? I first became acquainted with her through the 2008 French film Séraphine directed by Martin Provost. Sam Juliano from Wonders in the Dark was the first to bring the film to my attention. Yolande Moreau is brilliant as Séraphine and the film won seven French Cesars (Oscars). But who is Séraphine – the artist born in 1864 and who died in a mental institute in 1942? I am off to find out!

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

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From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com