Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
—Henry Ward Beecher
This summer, Country Living
magazine featured a really cool stairwell makeover
in their June issue. An old wood-paneled stairwell was transformed into an art gallery for a couple's paint-by-number art collection. Although we don't have a paint-by-numbers collection, our own art comes from rather unusual sources; I collect still life paintings by amateur artists. It started during a garage sale in the mountains of upstate New York where I purchased my beloved 1928 journal
. I admired an unframed canvas painted in the late sixties that captured my heart. The woman holding the garage sale told me I could take it (free-of-charge) since I really liked it. Although the painting was free, I spent around $250 to have it framed! I recently scored another free painting, a Parisian Street scene. The canvas is damaged, but it did come with a frame. Its rustic look is perfect for our décor "as is", and I've already found a home for it. Just one paint-by-number piece graces our modest art collection; it's a country windmill scene that Pascal painted himself. I'm sure I will continue to collect these naïve, folksy works of art as I discover ones that speak to my heart, but I also look forward to adding some professional pieces to our collection someday.
One of my first professional art commissions will be with a celebrated Canadian artist I know and love, Emily MacLeod. I really do know and love her - she's my second cousin. I grew up admiring her incredible sense of style and her creative, artistic talent. Emily's paintings "recognize the preciousness of small things and the ordinary miracles she sees around her everyday". I love their beautiful, romantic simplicity. Emily lives and works in a renovated, historic log cabin in the rural community of Maxville, Ontario.