Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse, And every conqueror creates a muse.
Edmund Waller


It took me 15 years to paint once more (see this post for details). What would it take for me to paint again?

When it comes to art (be that writing, or building, or painting, and so forth), I have a fickle sense of motivation. For the most part, I readily find distractions and other priorities to keep me from my own special projects. But when that project becomes for someone else, perhaps a play written with a specific actress in mind, or a sculpture for a parent, or a collage for a dear friend… then I find myself spurred onward into nights of little sleep, seeking to finish the grand idea and see the smile (of gratitude, love, or puzzlement, or all of the above) of the one who is to receive it.

So, my second and third paintings were gifts, Christmas gifts, to be exact. And I thought I’d share them. I apologize for the image quality, but at the time, I had only an ancient digital camera more than a decade old, and the paintings are no longer in my possession (obviously), so I can’t take any better stills.

My second painting in 15 years was for a trekkie friend who once commented on how much she likes receiving paintings from friends, I decided to go with something fairly simple:

Star Trek: A Simple Logo.
Star Trek: The Simple Painting.

I actually rather made a mess of this one, at first, and had to do a fair bit of repainting. Eh, I’m still a beginner. I’m proud of the yellow lining around the inside, and I think she still appreciated receiving a painting out of the blue, even if it isn’t perfect.  🙂


For my third painting… well, this was for someone special to me.  Without going into details, she holds the Hunger Games book series in very high regard, and the books played a role in our connecting with each other, so I wanted to take my time and play homage to that marvelous meet-up/series-of-events as best I could:

The Mockingjay


The Mockingjay, painted

As her favourite colour is purple, I changed the background colour to match, and covered the canvas in a few layers of purple. I then used old yoghurt and margarine lids to give me the shape of the ring shape, which I then painted in. After that dried, I did my best to sketch out the bird, and painted the bird with with a different mixture of yellow and gold paints. Once THAT dried, I mixed the paints together with a heavier emphasis on the gold, worked on the details and shadowed areas, and then made a slighly darker/more-gold batch to accentuate the more heavily shadowed flicks and feathers, followed by a bit of pure yellow on the arrow and eyes. I splurged on this one and bought paintbrushes from somewhere OTHER than the dollar store, which really helped when trying to get those details accurate.

It’s not a perfect replica, but one I’m darn proud of, and it was received rather well.

And I don’t know if I should be sharing this, really, but you seem like a nice person, so… her gift to me? A real-life replica of the image from this post.

Needless to say, I’ve found a pretty good source for inspiration.   🙂


Andrew Wade

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