Many Newfoundlanders had large families and often homemade bread was served with every meal to make sure everyone had a full belly. Bread was a food staple, made several times a week and sometimes daily! As I think upon my childhood I can see that this tradition certainly seems to be dying as commercially made bread has become the norm over the labour intensive process of making it from scratch.
My Nan made the best as far as I was concerned! If I was lucky enough to be there while that bread was coming out of the oven I was a very happy child. If the bread was not long in the oven, my Nan often pinched off a bit of dough, squished it flat and and tossed it in the cast iron frying pan for me! I’m pretty sure if your roots are in Newfoundland, you know what I’m talking about! YUMMY! I still make bread today for my family and I still use my grandmother’s bread pans.
I recently completed this painting aptly called “Loaves of Love“. I painted my Nan Walsh as I best remembered her and from the view of a child. She was a wonderful woman who was one of my best examples of unconditional love, positivism, selflessness, generosity and humour ❤ In this painting I tried to memorialize the maternal spirit of all Newfoundland “mother’s” who toiled and worked hard for their family.
Here’s how I painted my “Loaves of Love”
The first step to this painting was to design it based on my memories of my grandmother. I recall her telling stories and laughing as she was remembering – yes there is underwear on her head (ask me why if you don’t know)!
I sketched my idea (1) and then sealed in the sketch (2) with an acrylic matte medium. (I use Stephenson’s Professional acrylics and medium).
Following the sketching I got down to business with my first layers of underpainting which is basically a glaze to block in the colour values. As you can see in (3) I used a glaze of Ultramarine Blue for the blue areas and then added the cadmium yellow (4) and a cadmium red. I also started my first skin tone layer which was dark umber and raw sienna mix.
After I painted the second layer of her skin tone I realized my poor Nan did not look exactly right because I had used a darker glaze of umber than I should have. This is a lesson in patience which I needed to learn. Thankfully one of the pros of using acrylic is that it can be painted over! So, I applied gesso over her face and drew in her features again. This time more accurately.
Next I added a few thinner and lighter layers of glaze and there was my nan with her eyes twinkling and her grin! You can see also that in between I added an umber glaze to the panel board walls and the porch in the background got its first coats of underpaint.
I completed by layering more glazes and finished with the finer details and highlights.
“Loaves of Love” won People’s Choice Award for the 2019 Snail Mail World Postcard Art Show hosted by Visual Arts Brampton. Check it out at this link https://www.visualartsbrampton.com/exhibits/snail-mail/results-2019