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Oil Paint Portrait of Artists Grandparents    (Released in 2003, January)
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Oil on Canvas 2003....I did this LONG before I began to experiment with mixed media. I was very close with my grandparents and this piece means a lot to me. The execution of this painting required a "major leap" in my abilities (I made it in 2003, four years after my first art class). Both of my grandparents, Merrill and Esther Siefert died the following year. I painted them from observation and it gave me a good chance to spend time with them before they died. (There is a lot of SILLY stuff on merrillk.com....but this is my more serious side). When I decided to pursue art, they gave me their full support, while other people (understandably) laughed at me. This piece also solidified my love for painting. I was competent at painting before I was competent at drawing. Painting catered to my "need" to edit my mistakes and it allowed my DEFIANT and PERSISTENT side to "come out" (which I got from my grandmother:). Studying painting gave me a good base of knowledge on the properties of artistic materials, since it is such a versatile media. I built upon this knowledge in my later artworks. In 2009, after heavily experimenting with ALMOST EVERYTHING (art supplies....not drugs:), I realized that paint is unequaled in surface beauty and I began to finish my artworks with layers of paint. Here is an example-

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