Sunday Stills: Painting ‘from this to that’

My granddaughter Sienna was really fascinated with my paintings when she visited. She fell in love with my Great Blue Heron and asked if she could take it back home to NJ, and I was more than happy to pack it up for her. Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge this week, is ‘From this to that’, so I thought I’d show you how my very first two paintings started out, and how they ended up. I have to say that after the first couple of lessons, I was less than impressed with my effort at drawing a lighthouse, and was beginning to believe that my old art teacher must have been right when she told me I was useless at art.


It didn’t turn out too shabby in the end though.


Spurred on by my apparent success, I decided to paint a Venice scene, complete with a couple of gondolas. My first session was so disheartening. I came home and told hubby that I really didn’t think it was ever going to look anything like the picture I was supposed to be copying.


Miraculously, it started to take shape over the next couple of weeks, and ended up like this.


Yesterday afternoon I sat staring at a blank canvas for an hour, then decided to play my piano instead, so the canvas is still pristine white. I’m waiting for inspiration and the courage to make that first brush stroke.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


100 comments on “Sunday Stills: Painting ‘from this to that’

  1. The one which captivated me was the lighthouse and seagulls with sunset or sunrise.
    You added depth of colors and shadows. Such lovely paintings!
    The gondolas and beautiful scenery of the water in Italy was enchanting. πŸ™‚

  2. Never you mind that so called art teacher.
    And – how sweet that your granddaughter wanted your last painting.
    You know – kids are the most honest when it comes to saying what they think. So- know that you are a great artist! πŸ˜‰

  3. I remember when you first started your painting class… it must be a few months only, half a year? I am surprised at the progress you have made!!!

  4. Oh Sylvia, I have said it before and I’ll say it again, you are a wonderfully talented artist, I absolutely love your paintings and seeing how they take form is really quite incredible. Don’t stop…your inspiration will keep coming, I just know it πŸ™‚ xx

  5. It is very inspiring for me to see how your paintings develop. The end product is certainly worth the effort. I wait, with bated breath, for your next painting…

  6. your Sunday reflections about grandchildren, painting, making music etc. inspired me to put my focus again on the BEATLES surreal lyrics CRY BABY CRY:

      • Then again it’s good to stretch the limits. If photography ever gets boring, I may try something else, but I already know I’m a lost cause when it comes to drawing/painting and it didn’t take a teacher to tell me that! πŸ˜‰

  7. I love your Venice scene! It’s not a simple scene to paint, you really are talented! I’m happy the GBH got a good home πŸ™‚

  8. I really love your work – and ending with the thought of an empty canvas as the piano played- well sometimes that is just what talented artists do – they get lost in one art to ponder the other πŸ™‚ ❀

  9. Your work is wonderful and very successful. The lighthouse scene just glows and amplifies the presence of the lighthouse – love it! The second, ah those rich and deep beautiful water colors – beautiful harmony created within the scene.

    I hope you pick up the brush Sylvia and begin painting again, it’s refreshing to see your work.

  10. I can follow your feelings “Yesterday afternoon I sat staring at a blank canvas for an hour, then decided to play my piano instead…” – but mostly I ignore my visual ideas and prefer to play guitar…
    have a fine WE:

  11. What a talent you have, Sylvia. That lighthouse is MINE!!!!! So light and summery – excellent job. And I’m sure you play piano so good as you paint. Happy May!

  12. beautiful paintings Sylvia! love the before and after pictures! what a wonderful gift you have! keep it up! πŸ™‚ Sienna now has a piece of that gift. how precious! πŸ™‚

  13. This is great, Sylvia – to see the before and after. I think one of the hardest things to really get into one’s head when one is creating something, is how very long and hard you may have to work at it. Living in an ‘instantaneous’ culture we think it is us who is at fault if things don’t come off fairly rapidly, when really all it needs is more time and application. I’m very struck by your initial sketch of the lighthouse. I’d be happy to have that on my wall as it is. The ethereal quality of the unfinished work is rather fitting. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment, TIsh. Yes, you’re so right about our “instantaneous” culture. Impatience seems to be an inbuilt flaw in our modern psyche, and with me, it’s impatience with my seeming ineptitude. I think that starting something like this quite late in life is more difficult than when one is young. I’ll keep persevering on my own for a while, and may take more lessons later in the year. In the meantime, I have my ‘Oil Painting for Dummies’ book for reference. πŸ˜€

      • Heavens. You need to change the title of that book. Stick a new one over it – oil painting for wise women. And it’s never too late to start – well anything. It’s another thing we’re conditioned to believe. You will look at the world with eyes informed by many years of looking and seeing. How valuable that is. I know as we get older, hands can get a bit clumsy, but then practise is the answer to that one. Or you devise a style that will cope. I’ve had to do that with writing πŸ™‚

      • lighthouses are a good choice to start for a painter because they don’t move way like pirates for example (I made a lighthouse too while drinking a bottle of beer):
        Stoertebeker Beer

  14. Wow! And you think these aren’t good? Perhaps you need new glasses? To me, these look like masterpieces…..(of course, my own talent only stretches to stick figures and the like, but you know….) Really, though…..these are quite good!

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