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Painting Jaeden

Updated: May 2, 2021

Over the last week, I had Jaeden sit down a few more times for my portrait of him. As it was difficult to have the same lighting as in our original sitting, since the Sun sets a lot later now, I decided to take it in another direction than it was originally headed. The softness I was striving for remains, but the image is a fair bit darker and warmer. As much as I enjoyed how it looked originally, I do prefer the direction it has taken.

I’ve really enjoyed how much the thick and rough-textured paper allowed for more experimentation in the paint application. Because you can’t tell if it gets frayed, since the paper is so textured anyway, I was able to use sandpaper and a rubber to create interesting texture variations. It also allowed me to have more push-and-pull approach to the painting, since I can blot and even sand it down to remove layers of paint, without affecting the integrity if the paper too much.

This week, I also looked at the work of Samantha Keely Smith, who was recommended to me by Jaeden. Her work combines the world around us and our inner world into, as is written in her artist’s statement a “landscape of the psyche”.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but the colours and composition in her work reminded a lot of romantic paintings, especially Turner’s seascapes.

After the semester, I would love to focus on more abstract work. One way I could do this is to do some colour studies of paintings I like or photos I have taken.

I would also like to experiment with various chemical processes, like Smith does in her work. This could first be done in watercolour, looking at how spraying water, using turps and other mediums might affect the integrity of the paint, before trying out similar processes in oil once I have access to studios.


Smith, Samantha Keely, Signify, 2015 Oil on canvas, available at:

Smith, Samantha Keely, Premonition 1, 2016 Oil on canvas, available at:

Smith, Samantha Keely, Amplify, 2017, Oil on canvas, available at:

Smith, Samantha Keely, From Ashes, 2019, Oil on canvas, available at:

Turner, John Mallard William, The Eruption of the Soufrière Mountains in the Island of St Vincent, 30 April 1812, 1815, Oil on canvas, Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool.

Turner, John Mallard William, Sunset, c. 1830-35, Oil on canvas, Tate, London.

Turner, John Mallard William, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, c. 1834, Oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.

Turner, John Mallard William, Valley of Aosta: Snowstorm, Avalanche and Thunderstorm, 1836/37, Oil on canvas, Frederick T. Haskell Collection, Art Institute of Chicago.

Turner, John Mallard William, Slavers, Throwing Overboard The Dead And Dying, Typhoon Coming On, 1840, Oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Turner, John Mallard William, Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, exhibited 1842, Oil on canvas, Tate, London.


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