Friendship can be born in an instant and last a lifetime.

Can you describe your friendships like a layered painting?

  1. Layer 1 – Light: A person you enjoy seeing, who probably knows a few generalities about you, like if you are married or have kids, where you work or what you do. You enjoy their company, but they don’t know much about you other than surface specifics. This is usually the largest category of friendship. You probably have hundreds of friends who land here.
  2. Layer 2 – Medium: Someone you get together with occasionally, outside the general encounters, maybe have dinner with them, see them regularly, and call or text occasionally. These people know most of the general specifics about you, but also know deeper details. How your marriage is going, what you felt like when your child did this or that, where you are going on vacation next week. These are good friends who usually make you laugh, understand your problems, and can be a joy to be around. They don’t usually haven’t, however, seen you at your worst. This friendship hasn’t been “tested”. You may have many friends who are in this category.
  3. Layer 3 – Deep: This is the deepest level of friendship. They are usually friends that you’ve known for years and have been there through thick and thin. They somehow know when you are down and call you. They’ve seen you throwing up or laughing so hard you pee. They know your inner thoughts, desires, and moods. They have withstood the test of time and circumstance. If you do not see them for many days or even years, when you get together, it’s like you saw them only yesterday. You probably only have one or two or maybe just a handful of friends who are deep friends. They last a lifetime.


The two women walked side by side, talking over each other, so excited they were about their news. I wondered, as the friends passed me by on a trail near the Oregon coast, if they coordinated their outfits that morning. In the grey, misty morning, their clothes popped with pattern. Stripes, polka-dots, chevrons, you name it, they had it!


Two friends on the Oregon Coast

Their patterns were black and white, and in the grey misty day, the clothes talked as busily as their mouths did! And it struck me. These two women had been friends for many years. As I thought about the photo I took of them after they past me on the trail, I realized that I wanted to convey the depth of their friendship and symbolize their conversation with the patterns on their clothing.

After planning the composition, and placing texture on the Texi Plexi, I started painting:


Beginning the wash of values for “Friendship”

The path they walk on  illustrates a meandering but meaningful future for their friendship, heading towards blue skies. Contrasts in the pattern of their clothing signifies differing opinions they may have on subjects, but the cohesiveness of the color palette brings them together in spite of that.


Square shapes and blue hues surround this woman


Blue hues and grid-like squares continue around her torso







The figure with squares and blue hues around her (above) is offering thoughts on a matter and sharing them with her friend. The squares symbolize her opinions.


Polka-dots and warm colors encompass this figure


Circular shapes and warm colors illustrate a differing point of view with her friend







Warm colors and polka-dots surround the second figure, who is offering up a different point of view, illustrated by the circles.

In between the two figures, the circles, squares, and grids mix and mingle, illustrating the sharing and understanding of the two differing points of view as the women talk.

Brightly saturated colors convey depth and positive effects of their friendship. Rather than reproduce the gloomy grey day, I wanted to show how textured, layered, and colorful this friendship is. This is definitely a Level 3 friendship!

Friendship, 16x20 watercolor on gessoed plexiglass. $450

Friendship, 16×20 watercolor on gessoed plexiglass. $450

Do you think there are more levels to friendship than the three? Do you have more Level 1 friends or more Level 2 friends?

Purchase this original watercolor to remind you of your special friendships. The painting is a 16×20 on varnished plexiglass, for $450. To purchase, send me an comment. I accept PayPal and will email a PayPal invoice. I’m working on an e-commerce website and will have a store active very soon, so please bear with me.:)

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Comment and let me know what you think! And keep creating to Feed the Beast!

All images and paintings on this site copyrighted by Sarah B Hansen.