As I’ve posted recently, I’m revising old paintings I still have around, improving them without completely repainting them. Here I am in the process of painting a border around a painting I did in the 90s. It’s a picture of my daughter and her friend, Callie, eating breakfast in our dining room. This room (backdrop) has gone through revisions too and the rosemalled Schrank visible in the corner has moved. Now, I have Scandinavian-looking, built-in cupboards and a window seat at the end of the room. This painting did not originally have a border. There was a time when I was painting borders regularly. They add a storybook quality to a painting and visually augment the framing. I’ve had a very positive response from viewers. The thing is, as worthwhile as they are, they add a considerable number of hours to the creation process…(Also see how my studio reflects complete concentration on painting and none on organization — I’m so disciplined!)
As you can see in the first photograph, I had originally painted the border a light blue with an off-white Celtic Knot design on it. Then, I decided it was too pale. I wanted to draw out the primary colors in the painting, like the dark blue trim of the tiles and the red, Scandinavian runner, so I repainted it with a cobalt blue mixture, all the while refining the Celtic knots. When I’d finished, I decided I still didn’t like it and repainted it a sort of lilac. I know that doesn’t sound appropriate, but I had done a smaller version of this painting, with the figures in a different position, as a hostess gift for my father’s cousin’s family (Olli Heikkinen) when we went to Finland in 2000. We stayed with them in Helskini. I loved the colors in the border of that one. See below.
The image of this painting is actually a photograph of a print I made of it before I went to Finland. The original was painted on an untempered masonite panel, rather than a canvas, so it is smoother and more watercoloresque. The colors aren’t as brilliant, but I’ve always loved it. One of the artists who give me positive feelings of coziness and comfort is Carl Larsson, who did many paintings of his family and home in Sweden. Those paintings have provided inspiration in the decoration of my kitchen and dining room. Anyway, as you can see, the border is rather lavender or periwinkle, so that is why I went in this direction after the cobalt border.
Here it is in its current manifestation: