The Caretaker’s Empty Nest {Fictionette}

The Caretaker's Empty Nest ©Rebecca Finch

The Caretaker’s Empty Nest {9×12 oil, $575} ©Rebecca Finch

While painting this still life, I became quite emotional and nostalgic as I experienced a small form of empty nest, myself. My little baby had just started Kindergarten and was also taking the bus for the first time. I must say that every time that bus pulls away, my heart aches. So this painting took on that bittersweet tone and a story developed as its backdrop that might just give you the warm fuzzies. 

The Caretaker’s Empty Nest
by Rebecca Finch

The Caretaker's Empty Nest

He laid the nest gingerly on the weathered table. It was a mesmerizing swirl of twigs, string, hair and feathers. He tried to recall how long it had been since the two birds had moved into the foliage beside his shed. He’d occasionally unlocked the old gate to peek in on their house project as they came and went, gathering supplies. The dense bush there provided visual protection, however he still managed to see down through their wooded skylight to watch every preparation.

It was only a few weeks later the silence was continually broken with intense chirping as mother and father bird made countless trips to feed their babies. Through the night, and on through the day, they took shifts. Then the feathers grew in and the chirp pitches lowered. Their first falls and first successful flights. He’d been there to see it all – cheering quietly, indulging his curiosity, stifling a gasp here and a chuckle there. Each stage rekindled memories of the growing and changing of his own children, years ago.
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Seeing more than just a bird’s nest, he gathered the feathers that had fallen to the floor of his old cabin. They were like old toys left behind by now grown children; representations of a life stage now past. He would keep the nest as a mother keeps a family scrapbook.

But now he needed something to fill the space that watching over this tiny family had filled over the last two months. There was an emptiness, like a house, oddly still during the first day of school. The void brought his thoughts full circle and before he knew it, he was on the phone talking to his daughter. With children of her own chattering away and filling days with memories to be stored for her own twilight years, father and daughter reconnected.

Contact Rebecca or West End Gallery
for more information on this painting.

Wedding Vows {Painting Progression}

Join me as I share the progression of Wedding Vows below.
Read about the objects and symbolism for Wedding Vows in this post.
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Wedding Vows {12×24 oil $875}

Wedding Vows seemed to take forever to paint as higher priorities, trips, and illness kept me at a crawling pace toward the finish line. This is always very difficult for me. I start to feel like the painting isn’t one cohesive unit, but is instead a disjointed puzzle with pieces that don’t quite fit together. Sometimes when a week or two has passed, I find that I even see the colors differently which can be very evident in my normal white cloth which everything is sitting on. One week I’ll see the shadows cooler than the next week.

Many flowers, limes, lemons and pears were sacrificed in the studio. So, I struggled. But in the end, it worked well and it’s now hanging in West End Gallery, just waiting for her new home.
Enjoy below the progression for Wedding Vows. Click on any image to enter a slideshow.

Wedding Vows {the objects}

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Wedding Vows   {12×24 oil • $575}

Filled with meaning, “Wedding Vows” embodies wishes for the bride and groom.

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WeddingVows RebeccaFinch-1-3The Symbols 

Pears symbolize abundance. May husband and wife find great abundance of love, life and happiness.

May their love have longevity and may they be faithful to each other as the lemon represents.

May pink tulips recall the need to care for and attach themselves to each other.

Let the lime perhaps as unseen and hidden as it may be, bring forth growth of character as they start a new life together. Marriage exposes our selfishness and all the things that were once hidden that now need to be addressed in our own lives. That almost forgotten aspect of growth is crucial and inevitable in healthy relationships.

As the pink rose symbolizes, may the couple be reminded to be grateful even when life seems lean and sparse as it often does from time to time.

May the lavender rose remind them how they fell in love at first sight and what it was that brought them together.

WeddingVows RebeccaFinch-1-7The Objects 

Each silver object was owned by my husband’s Great-Grandmother, the letter is in my Grandmother’s handwriting, the blue ink bottle was a gift from my friend after I had hand-lettered her wedding invitations and the calligraphy pen was a gift from my husband while we were dating.

Each object has a story and a connection
which is what makes Wedding Vows so full of meaning for myself
and I believe those who will view it. 

See images of Wedding Vows from start to finish in the Painting Progression post.

Contact Rebecca for more information about Wedding Vows.

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Wedding Plans {Painting Progression}

Rebecca Finch Wedding PlansPresenting, my latest painting,
Wedding Plans {10×10 oil $575}

• See a detailed view of “Wedding Plans” on the website’s Painting page.

Read the “Wedding Plans” Fictionette here if you haven’t yet. {Fictionette: a short story written by Rebecca to accompany a painting}

Enjoy an image gallery below showing the progression of Wedding Plans from beginning to end.

Click any image to enter Slideshow Mode.

Wedding Plans {Fictionette}

Presenting, my latest painting, Wedding Plans {10×10 oil $575} Enjoy the new Wedding Plans Fictionette below.
{Fictionette: a short story written by Rebecca to accompany a painting}
• See a detailed view of “Wedding Plans” on the website’s Painting page.
• See an image gallery of the progression of “Wedding Plans” from start to finish on the blog tomorrow.


Wedding Plans ©Rebecca Finch

Wedding Plans {10×10 oil • $575}


Wedding Plans

by Rebecca Finch

Her thoughts swirled as she sat quietly working through the order of the wedding ceremony. A simple service with a sparse celebration afterward had been decided. A small cake reception would be followed by a short honeymoon in the next town over. But it would be perfect and the fanfare would resound in her own heart.

A set of strong hands came to rest on her shoulders. “Nance, do you have a few minutes? I … have something to show you.” Turning back, she met her beloved’s eyes. Caught in a dreamlike motion, she stood and followed him through the house.

Her hand firmly in his, Tom led her at an increasing speed down the street where a perfectly polished limousine waited. He nodded to the driver, “Thanks, Jack”.  “As always, sir.” Her heart raced as the driver opened the door for her to enter the luxurious vehicle. Tom held her tight with nervous excitement as they rode past the familiar overgrown neighborhood and then entered a seemingly forbidden city of unimaginable opulence. As they drove on, the properties grew in size and the mansions exceeded Nancy’s imagination.

The driver took a turn, leading them through a large, ornate gate. It was the entrance to a private property winding through a vast expanse of land, spotted here and there with exquisite courtyards, lush gardens, fountains, and extravagant vehicles. Finally they reached the mansion that had loomed in the distance since passing through the gate. Stepping out of the limousine, Nancy gazed at the ornate structure, stretching farther in every direction than she was able to see. Its height blocked the noon sun.

“Good day, sir.” A maid approached them in a flawlessly pressed uniform. “Shall I set up lunch in the sun room?”
“Yes, Tia, that would be perfect.”

Tom seemed to be familiar with everyone they had encountered. Nancy’s eyes begged him to explain.

While a quiet breeze swept around them, he drew her close with a smile.
“And now, I have something to tell you.”



Wedding Plans  can be seen at West End Gallery. Enjoy an opening Reception this Friday evening from 5:00-7:30pm.


The Craziest Commission I Ever Took

We had 7 days left to pack all of our belongings and move to another state. With a swarm of mess surrounding me, I heard myself say, “yes” to this commission. Was I crazy? I still don’t know (although my husband might). Against every practicality, I took on the challenge of painting in 2 days the largest still life I have ever attempted. Before I knew it, 16 pieces of exquisite yellowware, a few apples, and some fresh daisies were facing me, ready to be reproduced on a 16″x36″ linen canvas. In the 20 hours of painting that followed, I wrestled with all the doubts, fears, and frustrations that artists face when brush meets canvas.


Yellowware ©Rebecca FinchWhat is Yellowware?

I thought the same thing when Elisa commissioned a painting of her yellowware collection. Here is the skinny on this handmade kitchen fascination taken from Martha Stewart’s website. “From the 1830s until the 1940s, when Pyrex and plastics took over, yellowware was ubiquitous in American kitchens. Yellowware is a ceramic fired from the fine yellow clay that lines riverbanks from New York to Ohio. Its color ranges from butter yellow to deep mustard, and it was popular due to its low cost and durability — it could even withstand the heat of a woodstove.” Each lovely piece was a unique gem with a story to tell. My hope was that this would come through in every brushstroke.

The Setup

Yellowware ©Rebecca FinchBy the brilliant suggestion of my husband, we took my table top off its stand and placed it up on top of my art supply chest in order to get a straight-on perspective. After this photograph, I sent him out to fetch some bright white daisies to break up the yellow of the dishes and darkness of the table. I also added a white table cloth to give an area of soft edges. By God’s help, it only took me about 30 minutes to arrange all the pieces. The apples were an easy choice for the purpose of breaking up the yellow, and to also bring out the deep brown stripes on some of the pieces. It is difficult to tell in the photograph, but there are many varying shades of beautiful buttery yellow. The pieces are arranged not only by shape and composition, but also each piece is set beside, against or in front of a piece with a lighter or darker shade in order to create as much contrast as possible.

The Setback

Yellowware ©Rebecca FinchThe thing that made my New Jersey studio so beautiful and enjoyable is also what caused much difficulty in painting: three walls of windows. A day of bright sun and fast moving clouds makes for a near impossible painting situation. Back and forth the light and shade went several times each minute, making it quite impossible to accurately paint anything. It had to be painted today or not at all. I was close to accepting defeat until my husband once again saved the day with another brilliant idea.

The Solution

Yellowware ©Rebecca FinchIt would be difficult and nerve wracking, but we had to do it. We cleared out our second bedroom, covered the window with cardboard, and very cautiously lifted the tabletop and carried the entire setup – dishes, apples, and flowers from the front porch, all through our cluttered half packed house, into the bedroom, and onto the dresser. Amazingly it was the same height as the other one, and I had just enough room to achieve the same distance and angle from the still life.

Please excuse the packing clutter. 
And please notice the wonderful lighthouse painting on the wall. 
It is my husband’s handiwork.

It was also a great help to me in that, I could now paint at night with consistent lighting. This also would be a huge factor in the completion of the painting, as I was not guaranteed continual sunny days.

The Progression

Enough with the prep, lets get to it and see how this painting came to be.

Yellowware ©Rebecca FinchThe finished painting, Yellowware Collection. After over 20 hours of solid painting, it was finally finished. The painting then spent another day and night in front of a fan to be sure the piece was dry enough to send home with its teary owner.


Rebecca Finch Studio Tour Want more studio views? Check out “Studio Tour”, a new page on my website and get a glimpse of a painting from start to finish.


Watch Me Paint & Win a Painting!

This Saturday, May 30th from 11am-3pm, I’ll be joining several crafters, artists, and other “makers” at the Steele Memorial Library in Elmira, NY for their 2nd annual Maker Expo. At my table, you’ll be able to watch me paint and put your name in for a free painting I’m giving away. Yes, you read that right. I’m raffling off a painting, and if you attend, you can be eligible to win it!

There will be several “Makers” and plenty of interactive things for you and the kids to enjoy. See the Maker Expo Facebook Page for more details. Rebecca Finch Photographs-2
Rebecca Finch Sands of Time-2I’m in the middle of working on said painting, and you’ll be able to see it in person on Saturday. So come join me, ask me any questions you want about painting, and win the painting on display {8×8 oil, $495 value}.

See you there!