A Year of Oil Painting on Canvas

me (Jennifer Lyn King) painting one of the Siena canvases

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen” -Leonardo da Vinci



Ten Years of Oil Painting on Canvas

Just over ten years ago, I bought my first handful of oil paint tubes, trio of brushes, and a big white canvas. I didn’t know what I was doing. Though I’d always loved to draw, paint, and take photos, I’d never trained in art. Yet on that day back in 2003, I simply couldn’t wait another day to paint a canvas with oils.

When I arrived home with my 3 sons, all practically toddlers at the time, I remember wondering what to do with the canvas when I painted. I hadn’t bought an easel. And so when the boys were all tucked snugly in bed that night, I laid the canvas flat on the table, and found out in moments just how hard painting with oils really was.

Oil paint usually has the consistency of toothpaste. Imagine dabbing a brush into toothpaste and trying to get the trailing smear to resemble something recognizable. It was, and still is, a challenge.

Not long after, my mother-in-law gave me an enormous gift — she bought lessons with a renowned local artist for me for my birthday, and the gift came with childcare. I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked her enough for that gift. It was truly one which has kept on giving.

Jennifer Lyn King painting
Garden House, painted in 2004, 36″ x 24″ canvas

In the years since, I’ve painted and painted, everything from flowers to landscapes to cities to people. Sometimes I’m happy with what comes out on canvas, sometimes not. One of the benefits of painting with oils is that they are easily scraped off (oils take up to 2 weeks to dry) and reapplied later.

Over the past ten years, I’ve discovered not only the joy in it, but that I love to paint.

A Year of Oil Painting on Canvas

This past year, I’ve been working on a series of canvases of one of my favorite places in the world: Tuscany, Italy. The scenes are a stitched together view overlooking the hills, olive groves, and vineyards of Tuscany from the high vantage point of the walls surrounding Siena.

After I painted the first, central canvas (36″ x 48″), I felt like I had hardly begun the scene as a whole and knew I had to keep going. Now, almost a year later, this is the result.

Siena Paintings: the View of Tuscany from Siena's Walls, by Jennifer Lyn King
Siena Paintings: the View of Tuscany from Siena’s Walls, by Jennifer Lyn King

While everyone sees art differently, these canvases turned out the way I’d envisioned them. I feel that these, after this year of effort and play on canvas, are a personal triumph. I’m delighted to get to share them here with you.

me (Jennifer Lyn King) painting one of the Siena canvases
me (Jennifer Lyn King) painting one of the Siena canvases


Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

14 thoughts on “A Year of Oil Painting on Canvas

  1. I’m so glad you shared this! The work is beautiful, but what touched me most of all is that your mother-in-law believed in you like that . . . enough to give a gift so incredible. It was generous not just in terms of the actual gift, but the spirit of support it showed for your talent.

    1. I truly do have the most supportive mother-in-law, and feel so lucky & thankful & blessed. But you’ve nailed it– she noticed what it was that I was interested in and then helped enable me to grow in that area. I hope I can do the same for my boys and those who come into their lives in the future, because Believing in Someone is the greatest gift of all. Thank you, Nina!

  2. I love your work, Jennifer; it’s so rich and textural. What a fabulous and touching gift from your mother-in-law.

    1. Yes, it was a fabulous gift, and then that birthday afterward, Brian bought me a 6′ tall easel. These gifts, though they may have seemed small at the time, have been pivotal and so encouraging toward enabling me to continue pursuing something I loved. I’m eternally grateful, and hope to do the same for others. Thank you, Beth!

    1. Hi Jennifer, Your oil paintings feel like an extension of your photographs: vibrant, intimate, thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Goodness, I also love the words you chose … vibrant, intimate, thought-provoking. Wow and wow. It all means so much to me. Thank you, Pheralyn!

  3. Your paintings are so beautiful! I’ve always wanted to learn to paint and it’s inspiring to see that you followed that dream (with the lovely support of your mother in law). She gave you a gift but you clearly have one.

  4. Your paintings are beautiful. Congratulations on following and sticking to your dream.
    By the way, I just finished reading “All The Light We Cannot See”. It was wonderfully engaging, and touched my soul–not sure I loved the ending though.

    1. I’m glad to hear you’ve read All the Light We Cannot See — and so fast, Kim! I think everyone always has an opinion on endings, but I enjoyed it for its connection to modern life. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, re: paintings. I appreciate it!

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