‘Once upon a Time’ a.k.a ‘DollyHouse Mash-Up’ a.k.a. ‘The Devil and his wife Fighting’ a.k.a. ‘The House of the Rising Sun’

Oil on canvas, 3' x 4'

Oil on canvas, 3′ x 4′

This one has taken me so long, and has gone through so many stages that it’s had quite a few name-changes along the way! No light source reference, so I had to keep trying different tones, different blues, different greens, greys, pinks and whites. With every change almost everything had to be reworked.  I also wasn’t sure what I was aiming for, which didn’t help one bit: dawn, misty morning, warm day, evening sunset- what? I often don’t plan a piece too much and wait for it to emerge- not sure that’s such a good idea…

Then there were the cameos within the painting that had to be right, and then had to merge easily with the other cameos and adjoining scenes:

detail

detail

Also I didn’t want it to be about the house itself, but really more about the gracious living of old-time Jamaica, and the gardens of these lovely country homes, though this one is recognizably Mandeville because that’s where the agapanthus thrive. There are so many of these unique houses around Jamaica, or at least there used to be, but they take a lot of maintenance and expense, and skilled craftsmen, and gardeners, and dedicated owners… it may be that they are becoming a thing of the past, which would be a great pity, but with an almost bankrupt economy and an ongoing brain-drain it would take a miracle for this way of life to continue.

detail

detail

And if anyone has read The Findhorn Gardens and believes in fairies, then you’ll understand that the magic amongst the flowers is what it’s really all about…

I am blessed to have lived in this special home for a decade, and to have homeschooled my daughters here, and to have taught art to dozens of Mandeville children in the Art Shed (which is behind the house and can’t be seen from this view). They loved to run through the garden and play on the swing, and climb the monkey bars under the pouie tree, but only AFTER painting their masterpieces… The place was full of laughter and kid noise every afternoon, and I always felt that Grandma Daisy was happy with the young life passing through Groveland. I certainly was. Groveland gave me a wealth of experiences and supported my personal expansion, from having and raising children, to gardening and cooking in the old-time kitchen, and all living in a home that had been in my (now ex-) husband’s family for generations. I will always be deeply grateful. And happy!