Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Becoming a Better Neighbor: Painting Joan

"Joan" © Antonia Ruppert
8x8-  Acrylic on Panel
What if I told you that you could become a better neighbor in 3 easy steps?  I hope you’d say, “Come again?” In the winter especially, being a better neighbor in 3 or 30 steps is not easy.  It involves seeing, having compassion and being willing to give of your time.

Here’s my story…

Recently, I received a call from a dear friend who asked me to check on Joan, my neighbor. What my friend was asking was for me to spend more time and call more often in this season. 

Joan - the subject of today’s painting - is my neighbor and has been since we moved over a year ago.  She is a kind-hearted person and whenever we talk on the phone she says “Have a blessed day.” 

I did not know a lot about Joan, but over time I’ve gotten to know her. She’s been to my place and I have been to hers.  When Joan and I talk, we talk about about the news, our families and sometimes we pray together. Her bible is usually near her.  

This week while visiting, the light was hitting her in such a way - I knew she would be the subject of my next painting.  I had my camera with me and took pictures of her from different angles.

I spent time painting her this week.  Though I painted daily, I did not finish it in one day.  If I would have shown you the painting the first day, it would have looked like this:

"Joan" Day 1
Here is the second day of progress:
"Joan Day 2

Today I went back to see if I’d gotten everything just so.  I found a few things to tighten up a bit.
After painting for a while, at some point, I showed it to Joan and she said, “Yep, that’s me.”

I love when paintings like this come together.  I am grateful to my dear friend who reminded me of how to be a better neighbor.  Becoming a better neighbor as well as painting this piece is not a "3 easy steps"process. But I’m glad.

Did you know I welcome commissions?  See more of my work at Fine Art America.

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