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A Golden Weekend

May 4th, 2010

Last week some of you may remember that I mentioned a painting I had created but was unable to post about at the time. I can now reveal that it was to be a gift to my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. At the time, though, 1) they didn’t even know I was going to be able to make it, so I was trying to keep that a surprise, and 2) I didn’t want them to know their gift would be something ‘homemade’.

So, Friday night, my son, Eric, my daughter, Christina, and I showed up unbeknownst to my folks at my sister’s house where they had been invited for a pre-50th-celebration dinner. (In case you’re wondering, some of my siblings were in on the surprise.) The look on my parents’ faces was priceless and well-worth the short-turnaround flight in and out of Tulsa, OK for the weekend.

Don Don Eric Gail Christina

Saturday was the big event. We all gathered together to celebrate 50 years of marriage, 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. It was a wonderful opportunity for some of us to see each other for the first time in several years, and the first time the 7 siblings had been under one roof since 2003. It was also the first time I had seen 2 of my nephews and my four grand-nephews.

Most of the Family

Since no one had seen the gift I had prepared for my parents except for my wife and kids, I was a little nervous to know how it would be received. Thankfully, I think they liked it…

The Gift is Received

This painting started out as one of my Over the Under-Schmeerings. I realized as I was painting it, though, that the background could not show too much through the main subject matter, so the schmeerings became almost tertiary in this piece. I anticipate experimenting with more ‘under-schmeered’ portraits in the future since this was such a fun challenge.

The Golden Years – 8″x8″ – Acrylic on canvas – Completed 4-25-10

©2010, Don Michael, Jr.

The image of my parents in this painting comes from a Christmas card they sent out back in 1962 when the artist wasn’t even walking yet. Below is a scan of the photo from that Christmas card. For the painting, I felt the wiggly guy in the middle could be cropped out since he really added nothing to the composition I was going for.

Gail Don DonJr 1962 - lo res

As has become my standard procedure when introducing my Under-Schmeerings pieces, I give you the before and after. I hope you enjoy.

©2010, Don Michael, Jr.

©2010, Don Michael, Jr.

Well, the long weekend is officially over and now it’s time to get back to work…

Happy Creating!

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15 Comments for 'A Golden Weekend'

  1. Edie Michael Said:

    I am so proud to be related to you Don. You are so freaking gifted! You never cease to amaze me.

    Congrats to Uncle Donald & Aunt Gail!!

  2. Celeste Said:

    that is just a fantastic looking family–! Congratulations to your parents (who are very young looking) on 50 years. Your portrait of them is beautiful. You did an exceptional job–I don’t know how you did it–(double portrait!) the resemblance(s) = spot on!

  3. elizabeth seaver Said:

    What a great post, Don, and what a handsome couple and large family! It sounds as if you all work to stay close.

    Your painting is fantastic, and I’m sure they appreciated it. I love seeing your schmeering and then portrait on top. It gives such liveliness to the successive layers of paint.

    Sounds as if this was kind of a milestone and perhaps you’ll be taking a deep breath to plunge in to create lots more of your mask-ness. Bring it on!

  4. PAMO Said:

    Don- I came to tears reading about your weekend! The painting of your parents is spectacular- and your family photos were simply lovely. Your parents truly look in awe of this special gift you made. Beautiful!! Your tremendous spirit always shines through. Pam

  5. Kathy Said:

    There is nothing more precious in life than spending time with loved-ones and showing them how much you appreciate them. What a wonderful family you have!! Your portrait of your parents is beautiful and they must have been thrilled. The best gifts I’ve ever gotten from my son are the ones he made – and I suspect your parents feel the same way.

  6. Technobabe Said:

    I think it was a wonderful present, something for them to keep and pass on to next generations too. What a nice surprise to fly in for the evening for the pre anniversary dinner.

  7. hallie Said:

    What a wonderful post! I know your parents love the painting. Your family is probably always wondering “What’s Don up to now?”

  8. Peggy Stermer-Cox Said:

    Congrats to your parents and family; and cool Don! What a wonderful, creative gift.

  9. Dan Kent Said:

    What a wonderful reunion! I cannot begin to imagine the emotions! Wow. Love the under-schmeering, and you made great use of it for sure – the double portrait is so well done – such a thoughtful gift, but I bet the surprise of seeing you trumped even that.

  10. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Edie… Thanks, Cousin! I wish you could have been there to celebrate with us.

    Celeste… Thank you! I agree about the family and the folks. It’s a pretty good looking crew (except for that wooly booger in the middle of it all).

    Great comment, Elizabeth! Thanks… No matter how far away we are from each other, or how long it’s been between visits, we always pick right back up where we left off. As for my ‘mask-ness’, there are definitely new ideas coming daily… Stay tuned…

    Pam!!!… Welcome back! I missed you during your hiatus. There was much joy and much love shared all weekend long in Tulsa. I’m glad you enjoyed my indulgence here. Thank you for the great comment…

    Kathy… The painting resides now in the center of their mantel. They actually moved a couple of photos of grand-babies aside to make room, so they must like it pretty well. 😉 Thanks!

    Technobabe… It was fun to drop in on them totally unannounced. I honestly did not know if we’d be able to make it until two weeks out, so the surprise was almost mutual. Thanks.

    Hallie… I think the family is always wondering just that. I know they gave up on trying to figure me out a long time ago. Thank you.

    Peggy… Thanks! It was fun to create.

    Dan… The reunion was wonderful, with many hugs and smiles. I think you’re right about the trumping. Thanks for the great comment!

    -Don

  11. Nicki Said:

    Hi Don,

    That sounds like a fantastic weekend and congratulations to your parents for reaching such an amazing milestone. The portrait is stellar and I am sure your parents’ hearts were filled with pride knowing 1) they have such a talented son and 2) that their son would create such a beautiful tribute to them.

    You can schmeer like no other!

    :0) Nicki

  12. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Hi Nicki… Thank you. It WAS an excellent weekend… and now here comes the next weekend! What happens to the time? Hmmm… I suddenly have the urge to go schmeer some paint…

    -Don

  13. Margaret Ryall Said:

    What a lovely post for me to come back to. Family gatherings are always special in so many ways. It’s heartening to hear about couples who manage to stay committed these days. That’s quite a family picture. I bet your parents didn’t mind one bit receiving this homemade gift.

  14. Don (Sr) & Gail Michael Said:

    We were pleased, very happy, and surprised to see you and two of your children. We love the “homemade” gift and, yes, it is still on the mantle for all to see. Everyone who has seen it think it is beautiful and love it. It was and is a very thoughful and meaningful gift that we appreciate very much. It was a wonderful weekend!

  15. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Hi Margaret… Thank you. I agree about everything you wrote – especially the staying committed part. As for the homemade gift, I think the words of my parents say it all…

    Mom & Dad… It’s nice to “hear” your input here on my blog. Welcome… Christina, Eric and I really enjoyed seeing you and spending time with you. I’m glad you enjoyed the gift. It came from the heart. I love you guys!

    -Don

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