20 December 2005

Vancouver Tug Boat

That Christmas, my dad would be getting a painting as well, although not a portrait. One of his great interests is tug boats, particularily the ones he watches working the waterways around Vancouver. He knows them all by name, and could probably tell you what kind of engine each one has. But where to get a reference photo? I had not taken any on my previous trips home, and there are not many to be found in the farming country of Southern Ontario. None, actually. This painting was taken from a photo at the website of Seaspan International. I loved painting the mountains that I grew up beside, and the water reflections were time consuming. But the big challenge was making sure that I painted the boat accurately. A stickler for detail (on important things like tug boats) I knew my dad would be checking. I must have gotten it right, because he knew which one it was instantly. This photo is blurrier than the actual painting.

Thank you to Seaspan International for granting me permission to display this painting here.


No stranger to a camera, I think that Danielle, my husband's youngest, could have posed all day. She had read enough fashion magazines and watched enough top model tv shows to know how its done. Or perhaps she is a natural. Getting good shots of Danielle was easy, but for some reason, I stuggled with this painting.

Having done three other portraits, I may have let my guard down and gotten careless. Also, with a deadline fast approaching, I was working quickly. In the end, the rescue effort took more time than doing the painting. But the challenge was a good one, and I learned a lot. It is all part of the process of being 'self taught'.


Val is my husband's oldest daughter. She had just gotten off work and was tired when I sat her down to take some pictures. Not used to having a camera pointed at her, she was at first self concious and the results were strained. However, there was something spontaneous and natural when she rested her head in her hand, and I knew I had the shot I wanted.

By now of course, they all knew what they might be getting for Christmas. It had become obvious. They just wouldn't see the painting until that day.