Art Adventures

Posts tagged ‘Sisters’


I painted “Wishes” to describe the intricate lifelong relationship between sisters. It can be an incredibly complex relationship, filled with friendship, imagination, hope.

My own sister is 8 years older than I. I tagged along with her everywhere she went. Being raised on a farm provided many opportunities for imaginative play and adventure. In my eyes, we were not only best friends right then, but would be for life.

My sister and I in our Sunday Best.

My sister and I in our Sunday Best on the Colorado farm.

We spend all day together on our farm. Whether doing chores, riding bikes, playing, fixing something, or working with the animals, we were joined at the hip dawn to dusk. Even though she was so much older than I, she tolerated, and even seemed to enjoy, our time together. I treasured her and looked up to her for guidance and adventure. When she left to go to college, then married and moved away during my pre-teen years, I felt as though a chunk of my body left as well. She had children and a husband and a different life. Our connection dwindled down to occasional visits, maybe once or twice a year, and even those visits didn’t manage to fill the void in my chest.

During a visit to Willamette Valley this spring, I happened upon a dynamic scene of two girls with their mother, out for a stroll at the tulip farm. During the outing, an older girl bounded up to a bench among brilliantly lit tulips. The younger girl, not wanting to be left out, skipped to the bench to see what amazing ideas her sister had discovered. Conversation, planning, and imagination between them led to some secret world only they were privy to. It reminded me of my sister and I and our childhood.

In painting the girls, I wanted to impart the magic of imagination, play, and friendship between these two girls, but I also wanted to impart a wistful feel. I placed lighting at late afternoon, haloing their hair in a beautiful way, but also suggesting the end of the day. Their time is ending. Not only for the day, but some time in the future when they will no longer be together. They will have separate lives, separate families, and perhaps live far apart. That very close, magical friendship and companionship will change.

Wishes, detail.

Wishes, detail.

It might become richer and deeper as time goes on, or life, death and circumstances might wedge between them in a way that keeps them apart. The title, “Wishes”, conveys the bittersweet moments in which I wish for my sister and our companionship we once had.

Whether it is your own sister, your children, nieces, grandchildren, or even a life-long friend you call a sister, take time today to call them if you can and remind them that they are important in your life and that you cherish every moment. Remember the fun times you had together as children. Reconnect and renew your friendship.

Wishes, 20x16, $750

Wishes, 20×16, $750

And for this, I say to my own sister, thank you for the magic. And I love you.


“Wishes” is available at Tumalo Art Company in Bend, Oregon. When you go to see it, make sure to notice the repeating pattern of bench latticework in the collaged paper and gridded texture of the gesso. Notice, too, a dreamlike state of the sky and fields at the top of the painting and the suggestion of distant trees. Tulips in the front are dripping color and left to the imagination, further enhancing a magic feel.

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Alpacas! Son3 and I decided to take a few hours this Saturday and stop by the Snow Diamond Alpacas farm just outside of Bend. Armed with our cameras, we took the scenic drive out to the open areas northwest of Tumalo. I was probably a little more excited than son3, having imagined alpaca paintings since I first saw their ad in the Bend Bulletin a few weeks ago. But my son got to drive the Jetta, so…And, since he has a photography class in high school, this provided an opportunity for him to increase his photography portfolio.

When we arrived at the ranch, there were a few small signs directing us back to a large barn on the property. The owner, Don, took us out into the field among the beautiful, fuzzy, puffy animals. I was surprised at how docile they were. Don knew each one, it seemed. He estimated about 180 alpacas lived on his farm!

I was not prepared for just how cute these guys and girls were! The color variety in their coats, their personalities, and their beautiful eyes captivated us.

A small family of alpacas

A small family of alpacas. Their collars defined family ties.

We got a bunch of close-ups.

White alpaca.

Ms. white puffy alpaca, surveying her surroundings.

Check out this baby! Isn’t she beautiful. I mean, look at those lashes! They must be 5 inches long!

Young alpaca.

Young alpaca. Was this Carmel? I cannot remember. Maybe Carmel’s child.

Apparently, some decided their best end was their back end, and presented such for the shot.

Behind the scenes

“If we ignore them, maybe they will go away.”

One posed handsomely.

Posing for the pic

“Ahem…The lighting is perfect for my coat…”

The obligatory selfie, just to show how cool we are. Was I standing in a hole? I must have been standing in a hole. Really.

My son and myself selfie

My son and myself selfie. How’s the hair? Just great, Mom.

The owner decided to go in for the kiss.

Hows about a kiss, sweetheart?

Hows about a kiss, sweetheart?

Son3 had a few fans.

Oh, hello. Do you want your pic taken?

Oh, hello. Do you want your pic taken?

And I’m sorry. Yep. I apologize for doing this to you all, but I must end this blog post on a cute factor of plus ten. If you look at the next pic, you will never be the same. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

OMG. Cute factor off the charts!!

OMG. Cute factor? Off the charts!!

Whhhaaattt? Can an animal really be that cute? A real, live animal? I think I’m in love.

Anyway, best day ever. Son3 and I had the best time taking photos. The owners were amazing; so kind and educational. They have a wonderful shop there, full of beautiful alpaca scarves, throws, hats, socks, etc. You must stop by and see them if you are going through the area. It’s not that far off Highway 20.

You can bet I will be painting these beautiful creatures in the future. I already have one in process. Stay tuned!

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



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