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Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Treasure from Vivian Swift

Certain artists make my heart sing. Vivian Swift, author of "Le Road Trip" and "When Wanderer's Cease to Roam" is one of them.

So, when I learned last year that the author/illustrator of two of my favorite books had a blog, I had to follow! And in almost every one, Vivian offered a watercolor lesson, demonstrating her technique of creating magical illustrations. (Right now Vivian's blog is in "hibernation" as she finishes her current "Secret Garden" book, but please take a look at the archives, especially if you are interested in painting. For example, here she shows how to paint an autumn leaf.) Below, a spread from "Le Road Trip."


In one of her posts shortly before her hiatus, Vivian told us How To Paint a Cat. And guess who she used as a model!


Vivian painted sweet Lizzie -- and after, she was kind enough to send me her original and the preliminary sketch she did for the painting. I was overwhelmed! And delighted, too!


She captured my sweet girl so perfectly down to the tiniest detail and the curious, alert look in her eyes. (I think eyes are SO hard to do!) I finally found a perfect frame, so now Lizzie and Vivian are on permanent display!


I'm so very grateful for Vivian's generosity! I'm eagerly awaiting her next book and her blog return with new posts. Till then, I'll cherish this, her wonderful books and keep mining her blog for new painting ideas and techniques!

26 comments:

Mae Travels said...

I owe you thanks for originally introducing me to her blog. I love her explanations of how to use watercolors even though I am not a painter at all! And the one of how to draw and paint Lizzie was a masterpiece. So glad you have the work!

must love junk said...

OH, what a gorgeous portrayal of Lizzie! How special :)
Susan

Shelia said...

Oh, I love the sweet painting of little Lizzie! She's gorgeous!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia:)

Jeanie said...

Treasure is the right word for this portrait of your little Lizzie. What a special gift.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

That is SO cool. Lizzie is famous! :) I still need to read Le Road Trip! I just need to figure out what book shelf I put it on when I bought it months ago!

Beth M. said...

Oh, what a tremendously PERFECT creation! It's such an accomplishment to capture the subject's physical qualities, but relaying personality is even more challenging...and she did it! :)

anno said...

What a charming portrait! Completely lovely. Of course, given what I know of Ms. Llizzie and given how much I enjoyed Le Road Trip, this shouldn't be a huge surprise, but, still... what a treat! Thanks for sharing this with us.

Paulita said...

What a terrific opportunity. Good for you for making this happen too. I hope you'll link with Dreaming of France again. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

Retired English Teacher said...

She truly is a gifted artist. I love the framed painting. You picked the perfect frame. I'm so glad you have time to explore all these ideas now that you are retired!

vicki (skiourophile) said...

That is gorgeous. Watercolour is such a lovely medium - I really love the look but have not tried it myself since school. One day!

Tracy said...

LOVE Miss Lizzie's portrait! What a beautiful keepsake from a great artist! I admire Vivian's style... and I just love illustrated books & journals like her's. :o) What fun!! Happy Day, Jeanie ((HUGS))

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

MIGNON! Oh how perfect she came out, Jeanie!!!!

shoreacres said...

Isn't it wonderful when we receive tokens and gifts from the real people who inhabit these blogs? Lizzie's portrait is wonderful - I agree that many cat portaits are lovely, "ahhh-producing", but hers is much more lively. From what I can tell at this distance, she truly has captured the essence of Lizzie - what a great gift!

Joanne Huffman said...

How cool that she used Lizzie - and that you have the original (actually, BOTH originals). I will have to check out her blog.

Arti said...

Interesting blog Vivian has. Thanks for sharing the link. On another note, just want to let u know I've finished all episodes of Any Human Heart, quite an interesting production. I'm on the Jane Austen disc now. Northanger Abbey I have less memory of so am re-watching it. Good to see Carey Mulligan in it. She ought to play the main role though.

gigihawaii said...

Beautiful painting! You are truly blessed to have it.

Paulette Adams said...


It's always a delight and pleasure to pop in and view your world.
This is a beautiful post, I too am a fan of Vivian's books and blog.
And Jeanie, I love that Vivian painted your sweet Lizzie so beautifully and gifted you with the original!

Friko said...

Gorgeous Lizzie. She is truly beautiful.

I have a friend who paints dogs; I have mine painted by her; such a wonderful reminder always.

Relyn Lawson said...

What a great new banner!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

How simply wonderful to have Lizzie as a famous subject of the talented water color artist!! She has beautifully captured the personality and particularly the eyes of your precious kitty.

Bises,
Genie

Marilyn said...

How very, very special.
I just love this painting of your Lizzie! She is so beautiful! I must read the next chapter of her book, I think I am getting behind.

Jenny Woolf said...

How fabulous! And what a treasure in that wonderful picture! It makes me think, yet again, that blogging has really widened the world. I will go and look at Vivien's blog

I need orange said...

How cool! I love Vivian's work, too. :-)

How perfectly excellent to have not only a Vivian Original, but to have it be of your own dear Lizzie!

Excellent.

:-)

ps -- fun to see your new look! Makes me want to buy a ticket! :-)

Linda Jo said...

Oh, wow! She did a great job!!! Lizzie looks beautiful!

Virginia said...

I loved her book. I have it on my shelf.
V

paris parfait said...

How fantastic that you have this lovely painting of the gorgeous Lizzie! Vivian's work is lovely.

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