Friday was my grandad’s 80th birthday – which for me was very exciting because I could finally give him his painting. I’d been waiting 8 months (of drying time) to give him the present and see his reaction. I was so pleased when he finally saw it, he couldn’t believe the amount of effort that went into a gift for him. There were tears all round! But for me that was a sense of accomplishment, that someone so close to me could be moved by my artwork. Obviously I got him a box of chocolates as well… because it wouldn’t be a birthday without chocolate!
The Birthday Present
In March 2015 I decided I wanted to give my grandad a painting. I had been going through old photos with him and my nana – ones of the family through all different decades. I found one of my grandad when he was not much younger than myself. It was a simple photo in black and white, about the size of a credit card, but this was what I wanted to paint.
The painting took me around 15 hours. I spent 3 hours in an evening after work and got it completed in a week. With the painting being made from oils I wanted to make sure it had plenty of time to dry before his birthday in November.
I think because the painting meant so much to me I put all of my spare time and effort into making it perfect. I got other family members on board to check the resemblance to my grandad.
What I found interesting was how many people thought the image looked like me, and yet I thought it looked like my mother. By painting the image I was able to not only capture the likeness of my grandad, but also the following generations, which was something new to me.