Painting Rembrandt as a Young Artist

More Artist than Mom and Wife

“Honey, on your way back, would you mind picking up some food from the supermarket?”

“Sure,” my husband replied, as he grabbed his coat, and I was instantly grateful that he hadn’t even asked me if I had anything in mind. Because if he had asked, I would have had the immediate double reaction – to look up a recipe on by googling, ‘what’s for dinner’ and at the same time, I probably would have been slightly annoyed that he was asking me. Both my kids and husband have discovered, to my great joy, that when I delegate dinner to them, then they are in charge.

“Mom, are you ready to listen to some European Law?” asked my son with a smile and raised eyebrows.

“No,” I replied, and felt a bit guilty, but then reminded myself of the many years that I had sat on his bed anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, listening to how his day had been, telling him stories, helping him adjust from daytime to night. I think I have paid my mama dues. He’s a very clever young man, and he knows the European Law already as well as any first year law student should.

Project Runway, Baking, Rembrandt, Here I come!

Last night, by chance, while following the doctor’s orders and Sitting on the Couch, the TV was on, and there was a show on: Nederland Bakt – ‘The Netherlands Bakes’ and immediately following that came Project Rembrandt, a competitive ‘Paint Off’ where aspiring artists were given a series of exercises to complete and be judged on. I found myself scrambling to find some paper and charcoal that I didn’t even know I had, and making a self portrait together with the TV participants.

self portrait

Actually, my first attempt at my mouth was better before I tried to fix it – oops!

At the end of the program, they mentioned the Project Rembrandt website and the online free Masterclasses! My inner artist did a pirouette of joy and threw unicorn glitter in a rainbow across the sky… “I’m going to paint tomorrow,” she told me.

And so it was, instead of cooking dinner, or helping my son with his homework, I spread newspaper on the dining room table, took out some canvases from the attic, found Burnt Sienna (note to self: This color is almost finished – go to art store and get some more!) and Dark Umber acrylics, paintbrushes and a palette and got to work. The subject is: Self portrait of Rembrandt as a young man.


This is supposed to be the end result – but Rembrandt is the genius, and I’m just taking this Masterclass online, so first step was to get the background ready: “Imprimatura”

Here it is:

painting rembrandt

What Next? What Now?

I’m curious where this exercise will take me. But much more importantly, I’m already happy about where it took me. To a creative moment, a carved out precious hour of creativity for myself, self absorption in sometime I love doing, in short, real ‘me time.’

I’m grateful!

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