A Piece a Week 17 – Nightlight

I was putting my youngest daughter to bed a couple of nights ago and as she snuggled up to her doll, I was struck by her pose. I grabbed my camera and as she fell asleep (she was very tired, we were up late) I snapped some very blurry photos of her by the light of her night light.

I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but studio time that night immediately led me to start painting on one of the two black gessoed canvases I had miraculously prepared earlier in the day for something else completely.

Nightlight by Liz Powley

Nightlight, acrylic on canvas, approx. 460 x 460 mm.

It came out somwhat unexpected. Firstly, this was a bunch of firsts for me – I’ve never painted on black canvas before, never really drawn a face in such contrast, and also the style I ended up painting it in was very different from what I had initially intended.

Next term for art class, one of the styles of art we will be discussing is ‘Fauvism’. Of course, I had no idea what that was, so I did a little reading, even borrowed a book on it. So I’ve been looking at post-impressionistic painting and Matisse for a few days. While I certainly won’t claim that this piece of work falls anywhere near the masters, I will say that my slapdash and rough approach speaks of at least some influence.

Nightlight closeup

It is rough as bags, but somehow it works. This is something I tried to achieve with Dahlia and failed miserably. While this painting is far from perfect, I think I have made a move in the right direction.

I need practise, practise, practise!

In other news…The Purple Chair is finished!

The Purple Chair by Liz Powley

The Purple Chair, Acrylic on canvas, approx. 560 x 710 mm.

I am really excited about this one. I learnt so much painting it, and I realised yesterday that this is actually my first ever realistic acrylic painting completed. I’ve started a few in the past, but this is the first one I have completed. So this year’s theme of production and completion is going well!

As to what I might paint next week…I’m considering finishing that giant squid. It’s eye is staring at me from a corner of my studio and my daughter has asked about it several times. Also, once the weather fines up again, there will be varnishing, photography and you never know….I have enough paintings to start selling…I might even put them up for sale!

Best wishes,


2 responses to “A Piece a Week 17 – Nightlight”

  1. I love both these paintings. You are becoming so adventurous and it is wonderful. Can’t wait to see what you continue to create

  2. Black canvases are inspiring and your painting is so tender and delicate with that nightlight that caresses her face.

    And that chair, I’d hang it on my wall right away!