Be Kind

Yes, I’m back with another angel painting, my fifth. This one is a bit different than the ones I’ve done previously.


She is my Angel of Wisdom. In the Spirit Wings e-course I’ve been taking, the artist used a technique of layering collage and paint and then using sandpaper to sand down some of the layers, giving the piece an aged look.  I decided that I wanted to paint an old, wise face.

I’d seen a fantastic photo of actress Olivia de Havilland at 98, taken by photographer Andy Gotts.  It is a beautiful, black and white portrait of a person who looks as if she has some great stories to tell.


I’m still really new to painting faces and now I wanted to paint a more complicated face then the ones I’ve been painting.  This one has wrinkles!

These photos shows the progress: A rough sketch of the face, and developing the background, building up and sanding down layers of paper and paint. And then painting the face which goes through transitions when I struggled to get the shape of the head and the eyes right. Scroll through them to see the piece evolve.













I was frustrated with the sanding process because the paper I used often just came off in a partial layer, revealing not a glimpse of the color and paint underneath, but instead the soft, white, boring middle of the paper. But I just layered on more paint and paper.  Here are some close ups of the layers.



I worked and worked on her eyes, at one point layering gel medium over the canvas because I’d made such a mess. It created other challenges, but eventually I finished them. The lines, soft wrinkles, and the pearls all created challenges for me, and I spent a lot of time on this piece.

As for the mantra, this Angel of Wisdom has the most simple, basic message. Be Kind. That is the big one.  Be kind.  A friend and I were talking and he said “Be kind. Show up. Listen. Give hugs.” He believes these are the most simple principles to live by.  I too believe that these are all excellent life guides. I left off the last one, not that I don’t like hugs, but I thought the other three were appropriate in more situations.


Anne Lamott has written about showing up, especially when we don’t know what else to do. I mention it in a previous post here.   Be kind. Show up. Listen. Thank you, j, for the conversation that provided me with the right mantra for my angel.


Thank you all for showing up to read my post and listen to my words. I truly appreciate every visit.





Filed under Crafts

9 responses to “Be Kind

  1. j.

    I’m very happy to be a witness to your development as an artist. Keep up the good work!

  2. Love this!!! Thank you for showing the steps involved in your process. She’s gorgeous!

    • Hey, Juli – Thanks for the comment. Thanks very much. I wanted to put the photos into a little video, but I couldn’t get it to work. I don’t always take many pictures but I love when others show the steps, so for this one, I was pleased I remembered to stop every once in awhile.

  3. violetannie63

    Oh she’s gorgeous! You’re so amazing! I think this is my favourite one – pretty sure I say that every time… She’s very serene 🙂

    • Thanks, Violetannie! I love her too. She’s currently residing over my desk at work. But wait until you see the next one! 🙂

      • violetannie63

        Can’t wait! You’re making me very jealous though…you’re so talented and getting so much done. I haven’t done any crafting for weeks now…

  4. Such a wonderful painting, your face is very beautiful! I love seeing your process and the textures you create, thanks for sharing! J 🙂

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