Izzy Painting Elizabeth Dunford Plehn

Looking back on the first time you do something it can seem magical in the minds eye.

Drawing prep

when I look back at the first time I painted a portrait it was like that for me. His Name was Harry and he passed away, before we met.

I was given a tiny wallet sized photo to work from. Harry Sutton was my wife's grandfather. I was new to painting. A friend was kind enough to enlarge the photo for me and let me work in her studio.

something wonderful happened While painting his portrait. I had so many questions. Im not sure the answers to my questions were exactly how Harry would have answered, but I could see the evidence. I could see the family traits passed down to his sons and daughters. later when his name was brought up in a family story I now had a sense of him I could connect with. I felt like I was given a chance to get to know him.

Painting his portrait helped me connect with my wife and her family in a new way.

When I gave the painting to her grandmother I wasn't prepared for her reaction. Her generation is so stoic. She said they were tears of joy.

I didn't realize it how much painting would have an effect on my life,

  • "A painting is like a poem it's never really finished only abandoned."
Drawing detail
Sharpening shaping tools

My second portrait was of my father. While painting I had time to think and reflect about my dad and our relationship the things he had taught me and life in general. I had a flood of memories. My friend Heidi remarked that I had made the painting just a little too big and that it he was larger-than-life . She explained the rules of keeping a painting life size. I then realized thats how I always saw my dad larger-than-life.

When my dad told us he was diagnosed with cancer it was a difficult time for my family.

My father told me about a woman he met, she gave him a gift. She held a single rose and presented it to him. My father told me her name is Elixabeth. He said "she had such a beautiful glow about her. She is the kind of person everyone wants to be with. You can't help but love her.".
Rose game photo courtesy of 23newfriends

A neighborhood friend told Elizabeth that my father was also fighting cancer. later She brought him a rose to let him know that there are people out there who care, and that he isn't alone. I was deeply touched by her generosity and kindness, her gesture was uplifting at a difficult time. The effect it had on my dad was visible, I asked dad if he thought it would be ok to contact her.

I thought it would be a good idea to record some of what inspired me to paint her portrait and share her story

In progress
Behind the scenes
Beginning stages
Getting closer
Ready to frame
In progress detail
Created By
Booker Tueller

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