This portrait of a toad was a painting I did for few reasons. The first reason I decided to paint a portrait of a toad was because toads are a highly overlooked species. Toads are looked down upon as being ugly and gross when they are actually an impressive species. I've always liked toads due to the fact that they show up in the funniest of places. Because toads do not need a pond to live near, you may stumble upon one while walking down the road on a cool summer night. Toads can also be poisonous, which is pretty cool. Toads are also pretty ugly, which is why I decided to do a very personal up close portrait. The reference photo I found was perfect, It had a lot of detail which i greatly enjoyed painting. In my opinion, the nose of the toad is the best part. I dislike the backroad of the toad, i wish i had left it white. The darker color of the background looses the lighter details of the toad.
This painting of my families sauna was a joy to paint. It was painted from memory. Originally intended to be painted in summer I accidentally painted in leafless trees and a snowy ground along with pine trees in the background. My father and I built the sauna two summers ago and it has become a big part of our lives. Saunas are a Finish tradition. Originally used for sanitary purposes, saunas have the ability to rid illness, alleviate pain, and relax the body. My father recalls taking saunas with his family in the back of his grandmothers house when he was a kid. Saunas are something I want to carry throughout my life. When I'm older I want to build my own sauna, perhaps with my own son or daughter. Saunas have the ability to make you feel new. When you emerge from the sauna you feel as if you could run a marathon, and sleep forever at the same time. To me this painting means everything that saunas mean to me.