This process was pretty standard and it flowed easily – even though a few months passed between the first thoughts and the final product.
It started with the bunny. There are white tailed jackrabbits all over our neighbourhood. I see them in the day sometimes, but mostly they come out at night. In the winter, when the streets are covered in hard snow, they sit on the road under the streetlights. They are almost invisible, white on white, but if you wait they’ll give themselves away. Usually there are 4 or 5 bunnies out there in the night.
That night, as I was watching the moon outside my window, I noticed there was only one bunny. He was standing tall on the road, looking and listening, ears twitching.
I thought he seemed lonely. But not really lonely.
And moved on to William. While I was watching the bunny and the moon, I was thinking of the new baby in our family. I thought about how that same moon was probably shining on William just the same way it was shining on the bunny, and on me.
In the morning I made a rough little sketch.
I left that sketch for a while, and when I did come back to it I worked it out first in really muted watercolours. I wasn’t too focused on anything technical, I just wanted to explore where that sketch might go. I was pretty happy with the layout and I thought maybe it would be a cute birthday card or something so I played around with the values a bit in the second sketch and then I left it again.
I liked it okay, but I got stuck on that birthday card idea and it wasn’t sitting right with me.
Acrylics felt better. The colour palette was fun and I started smooshing paint around the canvas. I used a glazing medium with my paints which results in a translucent effect that I enjoyed especially with the moon thing going on.
Fast Forward! All of a sudden it starts to work itself out. This is where the fun starts, when the ugly part is resolved and I can’t wait to get back to my studio. The timing was so perfect for this painting, I knew it was “For Will” and I knew it was for William for his first Christmas.