Sunday, February 24, 2008

Are we there yet?

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 14 x 20"
Created January 15 - February 24, 2008, #142.

This is my first figure painting in four years. I have to admit that it was somewhat of a struggle. I usually paint hard surfaces and inanimate objects, here I'm dealing with fabrics and flesh tones. The faces became tedious to the extreme. I'd thought that I might never get them right. It turned out to be a grand exercise of patience. At 5 weeks, it's time to call it a wrap.

Featured in this slice of life with Jean-Luc are his two other cousins on my wife side of the family. Isabelle lives in the province of Québec while Céline lives in northern New Brunswick. Gabrielle, the model in "La Balançoire" is Isabelle's sister. The photo study for this painting was taken 3 summers ago, when they were 12, 10 & 7. They have grown so much since then. They always get to spend a week together during the summer vacations.

The comic book is The Adventures of Tintin. Tintin is a globe-trotting, crime solving Belgium journalist/reporter. He was created by Georges Rémi under the pen name Hergé. It first appear as a comic strip in a newspaper in Belgium in 1929. The books have been translated in 50 languages and 200 millions copies have been sold. It remains one of the most popular comic book in Europe, and in French Canada. I am not certain about it's popularity in the rest of the North American continent. This volume is entitled "Tintin au Tibet".
-This painting was selected in the juried FCA show at the Kamloops Historical Courthouse Centre for the Arts, 7 Seymour St. Kamloops, BC, April 18-27, 2008
- Included in my solo show at Handworks Gallery - Oct 16-30, 2009


  1. Hi Alvin,
    Wow - you have worked with some really difficult angles and foreshortening in this painting, and made it all look easy. I really like how you have kept the view out the window of the car simple and clean to keep the focus on the children. Their faces are beautiful - their expressions are really well captured. As usual, I admire your work - and wish you well in the juried show.

  2. Alvin,
    You may have struggled but you make it look so easy. Nice painting and I like the minimal background which makes your figures pop.

  3. Ahhhhhhh!!!!! First in 4 years? May as well say first in 4 weeks with the ease and flow you have pulled off with this one.

    Beautiful stuff, Alvin. Nice to see you back posting! :)

  4. Alvin, they are wonderful. Are you going to do any more figure work?

  5. An image of archetypal truth and beauty!


  6. I like how this shows the three kids sitting so close together in the car, yet each content in his or her own world.
    Another beauty, Alvin!

  7. A slice of teenage life! I think this painting is one of your best because of how relatable it is. I don't know anyone who didn't have a moment like this at some point in their childhood, and you've rendered it amazingly well. Congrats Alvin!

  8. Thanks everybody for your kind remarks. I will probably be doing more figure painting of daily life situation down the road. Prior to 2003, this is the type of imagery that I used to do. I was very much an Alex Colville devotee.

  9. Hi Alvin,

    I agree with everyone that this is a stellar piece! Thanks for the comment the other day, and congrats to you for your feature in International Artist's Magazine, too! Can't wait to see the other wonders you'll create this year :)

  10. Wonderful painting! Funny how we struggle through, but no one else can see it - looking forward to more figurative work!!

  11. You are so amazing, Alvin. I can add little beyond what others have pointed out, so I'll just concur. :o)

  12. This is a beautiful piece speaks volumes. I love your work

  13. Your work is wonderful! I love this one, it reminds me of the long trips from Ontario to Cape Breton when Im from. When I was a kid, I hated the cramped ride and sharing the back seat with my little bros and sister. (we fought all the time) But I was stoked when we got to my favorite destination :-)

  14. Hi, uncle Alvin
    Thank you very much for doing a painting of me and my cousins. My friends and teacher loved it and me to ☺  You are a great artist!!       
    ♥ Céline♥

  15. Merci pour ta visite Céline. Je suis content que tu aimes la peinture. Merci pour être une modèle parfaite. xox