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“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” - Pablo Picasso

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." by Pablo Picasso

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." - Pablo Picasso 

This spring I was busy working on new colourful abstract paintings and multicolored portraits of mothers. Shown below are a few portraits including “Parent in a Pandemic” and a double portrait of a mother and child named “5 Years of FaceTime.” I haven’t attempted portrait painting in many years so found it be a challenge and struggle… in a good way! Capturing a likeness in paint in an interesting way came back to me as an art studio goal. I wasn’t trying for photorealism, instead aimed for an expressionist feeling and an impressionist look with large brush strokes and paint marks. I enjoy seeing paint remnants and evidence of an artist’s touch even in portraits. My painted portraits of mothers capture the difficult experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic this past year and a half. Toronto, Ontario, Canada has imposed of the longest lockdowns in North America, and the world. My portraits attempt to show mothers during this demanding, trying time on parents and families. For me and many artists, painting and drawing is a form of keeping a diary or journal, just as famous art master Picasso is quoted as saying.

“Parent in a Pandemic,” 2021, Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 18”

Parent in a Pandemic Portrait Painting by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad

“5 Years of FaceTime,” 2021, Acrylic on Canvas, 2’ x 4’

 5 Years or FaceTime Original Painting by Toronto Artist Rachael Grad

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"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." quote from Pablo Picasso