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In late summer my Aunt Chris came up to Connecticut for a visit. I had been years since she’s visited; she lives down in Florida and has trouble getting away from the requirements of work & family down there, so it was great to get to visit with her and her little grandson Timmy, who came along for the trip. While she was visiting she asked if I’d be willing to do a replica of a favorite print of her’s, in exchange for some art supplies. She let me pick out some much needed paint brushes and some awesome clay and lamp work beads, as well as a stretched canvas for her painting. Before she left she gave me the small faded print that she wanted replicated.

The original artist, Juan Ferrandiz, was a commercial folk artist from Spain who died in 1997. Most of his work was similar to this print, using childish features and focusing much around Christmas themes. He not only did paintings like the one above, but also carved and painted wooden figurines and did illustrations for children’s books.

This commission was much different than most art that I do for people, and it took a great deal of patience (and frustration) to work on getting a similar likeness to what my aunt wanted. Plus, it’d been years since I’d worked in oils on a pre-treated canvas, and it took me a while to get the hang of how the paint reacted to the surface. And I had to deal with the drying times along with layering on this foreign surface, and it was a battle to make sure it would be dry enough to ship by the time we left for Canada. (I almost didn’t make it.) Here’s some in-process shots:

While the print that my aunt gave me to work from was no taller than 8 inches, the finished reproduction was about 11″ x 14″. And here it is, completed:

And the important thing is that my aunt received it safely and is very happy with it.