Hands of Toil

"If you give people that painting, they're probably going to think you're weird." - My son, Wolfgang, age 6

Well, I have bad news kid; I am weird. "Hands of Toil" was done in oils on canvas, and measures 6.5"x10". I'm going to have my husband cut a board to mount it to, so she won't be available for sale for a little while yet (unless you don't mind waiting). Earlier this year I painted "Toil" in watercolors and I wanted to take a crack at painting the same thing, but more stylistically polished than the watercolor version, and in oils.

The first piece was more impressionistic, and the colors were a synesthetic choice. I initially started out copying those colors for the oil version, before I realized I wanted it to be a more somber piece, and toned it down.

Yes, it is a weird piece. Her hands are bloody, and that may be a startling contrast against the pink flowers and white feathers also present in the painting, at least for a six-year-old. But the piece is about being an artist, and the hard work that goes into creating what pretty much amounts to expensive and delicate pieces of paper. The title is inspired by the poem of the same name by James Russell Lowell -

No man is born into the world whose work
Is not born with him;
There is always work,
And tools to work withal,
For those who will;
And blessed are the calloused hands of toil.
— "Hands of Toil" by James Russell Lowell

These days I am doggedly preparing for Dragon*Con. I won't have a table this year, but my art will be hanging up in the show and in the print shop. I have a lot of work to do to get prints ready in time, and a few paintings to finish in about 1.5 months. It's nice to be back to work regularly, though. Sitting around, thinking about working, is not good for anyone. The new studio space is finally coming together in some form of organization, and now that I have almost all of my tools and supplies in my easy reach, work is flying out as fast as my little hands can move the brushes.