AnneLawsonArt My art work

Painting for sale!

Anne Lawson Art

My exhibition at the Old Auction House has finished. Many of you were unable to make it, so I would like to offer you the opportunity to have a closer look at the individual pieces. This is the first one, and it is for sale.



Paper size: 26 x 36 cm, A3

Paper: Arches watercolour paper

I used a slightly glittery paint on the tops fo the tree. You can see it a little in the photos.

Tree painting from Anne Lawson Art

Anne Lawson Art

Anne Lawson Art

If you are interested in knowing more, contact me:

  • In the comments
  • via my contact page
  • email me

I happily ship internationally and shipping is free.



Artists Botanic Art Melbourne Odds and Ends Plants

Botanic illustration and flower painting

Jan McDonald, the Rare Books Librarian at the State Library of Victoria, uses two books from the collection to show the difference between botanic illustration and flower painting.

One book contains depictions of Australian plants collected by scientific illustrator Austrian Ferdinand Bauer. The other, by the decorative French painter of flowers Pierre-Joseph Redouté, captures the blooms growing in Josephine Bonaparte’s garden at Malmaison

And exploration of Australia played a key part in the creation of both books. Enjoy!

Jan McDonald on botanical books

[BTW can anyone ~ Meeks? 🙂 ~ remind me how to embed a video? I can’t seem to do it at the moment 😦 ]

AnneLawsonArt Botanic Art My art work

Cadmium red

I have only recently added cadmium red to my palette, previously using Windsor red as my warm red. My recent rose is the first painting where I have experimented with it.

The cadmium pigments were part of the range of pigments that came into use during the 19th century, as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The Impressionists and other artists loved their richness. Monet used the cadmium colours, and I presume that he used cadmium red in this vibrant work.

Claude Monet Autumn Effect at Argenteuil [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Windsor and Newton is the leading paint brand, and on their website they describe cadmium red as:

…… a very strong, warm and opaque red and in the early part of the 20th century became a natural replacement for the distinctive but toxic vermilion.

The article goes on to say, with a safety message further down:

The production of modern, high performance cadmium red is an expensive and lengthy process requiring only the purest raw materials to produce the best possible colour.

Transforming the cadmium metal into a usable pigment means it undergoes several carefully controlled chemical reactions and procedures using various ingredients including mineral acids, sodium sulphide flakes, water, and selenium. Towards the end of the process heating takes place to create the pigment and it is in this heating process that the quality and hue of the final pigment begins to form. The emerging pigment is then ground down into tiny particles – these grinding processes affect the way the pigment interacts with light. Fine particles have a good diffused reflection and produce a colour that is very strong and vibrant.


Cadmium itself is a heavy metal and is toxic but cadmium pigments are not classified as dangerous for use in line with EC classification. The level of soluble cadmium in the pigments is so low that no hazard warnings are needed and they pose no greater risk after swallowing or breathing in than other pigment types. Cadmium pigments are restricted for certain applications but this restriction does not apply to artists’ colours.

The part about the EU is interesting, as apparently the use of cadmiums in paints are under review, and may be withdrawn.

I did a colour chart of sorts to work out my tonal values. (Note to self: more attention to the colours in the ext rose!)

First wash on the lips of the petals, with my version of a colour chart. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

The finished first wash.

(Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

The final work (which has just been put into my Etsy shop)

The finished painting (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

So, what did I find?

  • It was a much softer colour than I anticipated. However, I was using it as a wash, and colour in a wash dries lighter. As well, I was careful not to overdo the intensity and controlled the amount of pigment I was using. Another factor could be that it was brand of paint, Holbein, that was new to me. The same labelled paint can be quite different across brands. This was Cadmium Red Light which could be another factor.
  • I loved the softness of the rose, but it lacked oomph. The cad red wasn’t able to give me that, so I added a glaze of quinacridone magenta in parts. You can see it most clearly in the central shadow, just above the leaves. Also, it was difficult to get an intense dark.
  • I was pleased that red washes helped to cut back the intensity of the yellow that you can see in the middle photo. The glow is still there, but not quite the eerie alien glow it was before. That tells me that it is possible to fix up mistakes in watercolour!
  • I was delighted at how well the paint mixed on the paper. usually I make up a mixture of the paint I am going to use, and I did do this for the green. However I wanted to experiment with dropping in French ultramarine to darken the red. Often, on the damp paper I washed in the red, dropped in some French ultramarine and then more red over the top. I think it worked well. It allowed the watercolour to do its magic.
Letting watercolour work its magic! (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

Yellow will be my next rose colour. I do very little work in yellow, which has a reputation as being a very difficult colour to paint. So, more learning ahead!

Botanic Art My art work

Colour mixing videos

I have been thinking about colour mixing lately. I am trying to be more systematic with it, because my nature is quite slap dash. That’s close enough, I’m going with my gut instinct (i.e. being lazy!) ~ they’re the phrases that go through my head.

Then I read Jane Blundell’s blog and see all the fantastic experiments she does with so many different brands of paints, and I want to be systematic like her! I looked at Shevaun Doherty’s Instagram post where she identified a huge range of colours in her divine lavender, and I want to see colours like she does! But I know I never will be like that.

However, I can try to understand colour, and I can be far more systematic in thinking about colour before I start to paint.

Colour is a very interesting, but complex topic. There are many things to think about and it would be easy, for someone else 🙂 to overthink it. Overthinking colour is not my problem! (See the first paragraph.) YouTube is over endowed with videos about the colour wheel, how to mix colours, instructional videos and so on. However, I recently found Robert Gamblin’s videos. He is an oil painter and has a company that produces oil paints in America.

His series of videos that have really helped me understand the colour wheel because his colour wheel is 3D, instead of the usual 2D ones. That allows him to explain tones, hues, chromatic intensity etc while demonstrating it visually on his wheel. He calls it “Navigating colour space”. He also uses his 3D model to explain why the palettes of the Old Masters (Rembrandt etc), the Impressionists (Monet, Renoir etc) and modern painters are so different. Worth a look if you are interested in understanding more about colour.

There are three videos to be watched in order.

What did you think of the videos? Do you have any recommendations for me to watch or websites that are useful?

AnneLawsonArt Botanic Art My art work

The glories of watercolour!

The joy with watercolour is the glorious colours you can create. Pigments interact with each other as weak as the water to create the most marvellous effects ~ well, that is the hoped for outcome. It is easy to end up with a mud~like mess. I have painted with watercolour for a number of years now, but still feel as if there is a huge amount for me to learn. So, I signed up for Helen Burrow’s workshop on colour mixing.

I have been to some of Helen’s workshops before, and love her teaching style. I was not disappointed with this one, largely because she structured the three days so that each exercise used skills from the exercise before. She encouraged us to play ~ it’s only paint and paper. As adults we rarely allow ourselves to experiment. It is so easy to let the end product dominate, forcing ourselves to stick to the tried and true.

The very first activity was playing. After drawing circles on the paper we dropped in paints of different colours. None of them had to be perfect, they were simply pompoms. It was wonderful to see how they ran into each other and produced new colours. You really loosen up when you are doing seven, eight, nine of them. While the original vibrant colours are stunning, look at the colours that are mixed where they meet. There are some interesting purples and neutrals here.

My colour mixing pompoms ~ beautiful vibrant colours (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

For the next exercise Helen directed us to draw three “petunias”, to which we added specific colours. The first triad was cobalt blue, aureolin and permanent rose, all transparent and clean. The second triad was alizarin crimson, windsor yellow and phthalo blue, again transparent but rich and jewel-like. The third included opaque colours, cadmium red, cadmium yellow and cerulean blue.

The three “petunia” triads (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

Do you have a favourite combination of colours?

At last, I was developing a deeper understanding of the different colours. It is important to know how the qualities of paints [transparent, warm/cool, staining, their bias etc] to know which ones to use when. For example, transparent colours will create darker hues than opaque ones.

Our last activity for Day #1 was to choose our own triads and experiment. I especially loved the combination of quinacridone gold, viridian and my own purple (cobalt and quinacridone magenta). The mix is in the bottom left corner. BTW the four big blobs in the centre and right are wet on wet, the three down the left side are wet on dry. The last photo is of our show and tell at the end of the day, showing great diversity between artists.

Day #2 and we were raring to go. There was more colour mixing as a warm up. Then Helen asked us to compare Windsor and Newton sepia with Daniel Smith sepia. They are probably the leading watercolour paint brands. She was encouraging us to look at the different brands because colours are not consistent across brands. Sepia is a good example. The W and N is blacker and duller than the DS, which seems to have more warmth and depth to it.

The next challenge was to create our own sepia! With some help from Helen I used burnt sienna and French ultramarine to produce a lovely soft grey.

Then we became a little more botanical, as we traced a photo of a rose and transferred the tracing to watercolour paper. Then, using our sepia mix we did a tonal drawing of the rose. The photo shows the finished tonal drawing, with a spray of yellow as I began the next part of adding a little colour to the painting.

(Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)
More colour added to the tonal drawing (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

So, by Day #3 we were ready to do a rose painting. It sounds daunting, but as Helen’s previous activities had lead us to this point, we had the confidence!

It was time to put the knowledge from the previous two days to use ~ looking at the photo to see what colours there were, understanding the value of those colours (was my selection enough of a range of values along the grey scale?), thinking about warm and cool colours, complimentary colours. Then to mixing. You can see by the colour chart that I had to work my way through a few mixes. The new gamboge and permanent rose, top right, was the first mix, then I worked my way to quinacridone gold and magenta. It is the quiz gold that gives the painting its glow. There are other mixes too, a cool, soft blue for the cast shadows and the warm quinacridone magenta and sepia mix for other shadows.

Colour chart around the tonal drawing (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

A new piece of paper, a new tracing of the rose and I was in heaven, gently moving around each petal to let the paint and water work their magic.

First wash on the rose. (Image and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

There’s still a way to go, but I know that the colours are working and that I have put down a good foundation. I think I like painting roses!


My art work

Using masking fluid

Image copyright: Anne Lawson 2015
Image copyright: Anne Lawson 2015

Before I show how I used masking fluid on the understory of my melaleuca painting, I need to explain two things to those of you who don’t use watercolours.

Firstly, the delight of watercolour is its transparency. Light is able to travel through the paint and bounce back off the paper. So, if you put down two layers of colour the first will add to the colour of the second. In the photo you can see the colours in the undergrowth, created by about three layers of watercolour washes. My limited understanding of oil and acrylic paints is that the second layer will cover the first. [Handy if you make a mistake!]

Secondly, masking fluid is a rubberised medium that you use to cover areas you want to protect. The highlight in watercolour is usually the white of the paper, so an artist may paint on masking fluid to protect the white paper. I put it on with a nib pen, but you could use an old brush. Once it is dry you can then paint over the area, knowing that it is protected by the masking fluid. It is easily rubbed off, with no damage to the paper and no oily residue..

I don’t use masking to preserve the highlights, although it is really useful for little slivers of light. I use it more to help me build up layers. I first used it when I was doing a lot of bird nests. I wanted to have method that allowed me to get the depth of the nest while still showing the strands of grasses. These photos show a bird nest painting in progress and you can see how I have used masking fluid to create the fine lines of the grasses.

The understory of the melaleucas is a dark, dense jumble of skinny trunks. I wanted to show this, but to also show it as a space that could be moved through. However I also wanted the contrast between the stark white trunks of the front trees and the more muted ones in the undergrowth. Masking fluid was the way to go. It requires a little bit of planning and understanding of tone.

The first wash was the lightest one, but while the paper was damp I added in splodges of other colours, starting to build up the depth of the understory. Once that was dry I used the nib pen to add masking fluid lines for the trunks of the trees that were closer to the edge of the grove, closer to the light.

Then I put on another wash, going right over the masking fluid, know that those areas were protected. The wash was not a smooth, even one, rather I moved the colour around, adding more in some parts, less in others. As with the first one there were dashes of darker and lighter colours.

This is the sneaky, happy part. The second layer has darkened the area a little more. Adding masking fluid over this created trunks that were slightly darker than the ones created with the first wash.

A third wash and more masking fluid and the darkest trunks of all. A final wash over the top. However, the number of washes is really dependent on the depth and effect you are after.

After the last wash the paper looking like this. The yellow lines are the masking fluid.

Close up of the use of masking fluid
Close up of the use of masking fluid

The masking fluid is very close to the colour of the paper, and this makes it hard to see where you have put it. Fortunately it is shiny!


As you can imagine, it is a rather serendipitous process — I am never quite sure of what the end product will be! It is fun to rub it off  to see how the painting turned out. I rub with my [clean] finger. That gives me a good feel for any that might have not come off. This is important because, naturally, bits left will continue to do the job and not take any paint.

Then there is touching up to do. Masking fluid leaves a hard white edge that looks artificial and usually needs softening. This caused by the wet watercolour running up against the hard edge of the masking fluid, leaving a slight line. Also, I had to refine the darks and lights in the undergrowth, making some parts recede further.

The process was a good one, and allowed me to create a complex scene. However I felt that the undergrowth was too dense — too many trunks = too much masking fluid. I used the same process on a second one, this time with a lighter touch in the undergrowth and on the canopy. I am happier with this one, but it will not surprise you to know that I am still playing around with melaleucas, still hoping to create the perfect one!

Image copyright: Anne Lawson 2015
Image copyright: Anne Lawson 2015
Artists Botanic Art

Vignettes — an exhibition pushing the boundaries of botanical art

I always find it interesting to reflect that when I began botanic art workshops I didn’t really like botanic art all that much! I am not sure what drew me to the classes, but something did, and here I stayed. 🙂

I think that explains why I love contemporary botanic art, the sort that pushes the boundaries of the genre, as this exhibition does. It is Vignettes, showing the work of four artists — Amanda Ahmed, Mali Moir, John Pastoriza~Pinol and Sandra Severgnini — and is on at the Ballarat Art Gallery, a gallery that has a strong interest in botanic art.

Top, L to R: Amanda Ahmed, Mali Moir Bottom, L to R: John Pastoriza~Pinol, Sandra Severgnini
Top, L to R: Amanda Ahmed, Mali Moir
Bottom, L to R: John Pastoriza~Pinol, Sandra Severgnini

Vignette, according to the catalogue, has three meanings

1. a decorative design or small illustration

2. a decorative design representing branches, leaves, grapes or the like, as in a manuscript

3. any small, pleasing view

These definitions fit the exhibition so well. Each artist has 12 works and each is 12.5 by 12.5 cms and each image is a small jewel. The artists are all firmly grounded in the botanic art tradition but, as the gallery website says, they

have drawn on their studies in botanical art to create new work that reflects on human frailties and transient concerns.

These artists make reference to the great botanical/natural history painters of the eighteenth century. The exhibition will be an opportunity to marvel that objects from the natural world can be observed with such minute precision, while suggesting themes of a universal nature.

I first met Amanda Ahmed in class. I was fascinated by a project she was working on that was revisiting the plants that Ferdinand Bauer had painted on an expedition with Matthew Flinders. Bauer is one of the greats of botanic art. One of his images is here, while Amanda’s reinterpretations are here.

Most of her images in the exhibition are single dried, twisted leaves, created in graphite pencil. They float down and across the paper creating a sense of movement. Her initial impetus for the work was a book belonging to her great-great-grandfather, Proverbial Philosophy. She took its musings and illustrations as a way to reinterpret botanic art, coming up with her belief that:

botanical illustration occupies a unique postion in terms of visual representation because of its capacity to blur the boundaries between objective recorded information and subjective interpretation.

Some of Amanda’s art work


Mali Moir was my tutor and is now a friend. She is the inspiration for our Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project. Her background is at the scientific end of botanic art and her work on plants for publication in various flora had to be detailed and very precise. She has been the artist in residence on two bio-diversity surveys, one to Wilson Prom and the other to Papua New Guinea. You can read more about both, including photos, on her website. Mali has painted specimens from those expeditions for this exhibition. There are squids and barnacles (who knew how beautiful they are?!) and bird skulls, delicate transparent sea anemones and fantastically detailed but tiny crabs. She has taken the traditions of scientific illustration — exact scale, minute observation of detail, truthful colour — but has gone beyond, in ways such as sometimes leaving her pencil guidelines and notes. All her works are watercolour painted on vellum (animal skin).

Some of Mali’s work


John Pastoriza~Pinol’s work is also painted onto vellum.

Vellum has been used for hundreds of years, just think of the exquisite Medieval illuminated manuscripts. The delight of watercolour paint is that it allows light to move through it. It is why watercolour paintings can have such translucence. Paper is the usual medium for watercolour as the white paper allows the light to reflect back through the paint. However some of the paint is absorbed into the fibres of the paper. Instead of being absorbed into the vellum the paint stays on the surface of the skin. Imagine how this allows the light to bounce back from the surface through the paint, creating vibrant and luminous paintings. (Apparently it also means that you can easily wash off mistakes!)

John has deliberately used vellum for his work and not only for the painterly effect. His subjects are the harbingers of autumn — a chestnut, a maple leaf, acorns, rose hips — and are presented as a timeline from late summer to late autumn. He deliberately chose the vellum skins according to their thickness, with the thinner ones showing youthfulness and the thicker ones showing growing older and ageing. Because as well as his subjects from the natural world he has included tattoos. Look at the image from the Gallery’s website to see how beautifully this unusual combination works.

Some of John's work
Some of John’s work

Sandra Severgnini was the only artist who I had not seen before. I would certainly love to see more of her botanic work. Even though she was working in the small 12 x 12 cm format her work was beautifully composed. One work was the flower bud of a bromeliad, another only part of the large strelitzia flower. The conventional way of painting a pinecone is to put it in the centre of the page or maybe include a section of branch. Sandra did two pinecone paintings. One an immature cone, the other an open, mature one, and both were painted right on the edge of the paper. Another showed a fern frond just beginning to uncurl from the bottom corner of the picture. Her work was like looking through a small window, where you were made to see the patterns and colours and complexity of the subject.

Some of Sandra’s work

IMG_1446  Vignettes is on until Sunday March 15. The Gallery is open each day from 100:00 to 5:00. Entry is free.

Art Gallery of Ballarat

40 Lydiard St Nth

Ballarat VIC 3350

It is very close to the train station, so easy to get to from Melbourne. And Ballarat is a lovely regional city, with beautiful botanic gardens. Worth a visit to see this stunning exhibition and have a day out as well. 🙂



Artists Botanic Art Melbourne Plants

The Art of Botanical Illustration 2014

Unfortunately the Art of Botanical Illustration Exhibition, organised by the friends of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, is finished. Also, again unfortunately, I have no photos to show you. Photography was not allowed. Even if it was I would not show photos of the works of others without their permission. They are not mine to show. However follow this link to the Friends website to see the digital catalogue. Other links through the post will take you to menu of the catalogue and from there you can select the name of the artist I am referring to.

Botanic art is not still life or floral art [perfectly valid art forms], but rather a scientific depiction of a plant. That sounds rather dry until you recognise that there is a spectrum, from the pure scientific drawings that you would see in an encyclopaedia of plants, drawings that have to be accurate to exact length of the hairs on the stem, through to paintings that might be ‘portraits’ of the plant, almost floral art. Within that range there is scope for all sorts of works.

There were paintings in the exhibition that some might have been taken aback to see — orange segments, single autumn leaves, walnuts and seaweed. For me, each work displayed showed the amazing diversity, complexity and fragility of the our world.

It is the artist’s job to tell the story of the plant, flowers and seed, habit and form; to convey the complexity of the plant. We have to make artistic decisions about how to do that. What medium is best suited to the plant? What composition will tell the story best? I am always amazed at the quality of the works in exhibitions, and feel lucky to be able to learn from these wonderful artists.

Watercolour is the traditional medium for botanic artists. It has a transparency that allows the light to shine through. If you get it right it is perfect for plants like roses and poppies or plants that have very fine detail. Jennifer Wilkinson‘s Iceland poppy shows how subtle and delicate watercolour can be.

A number of artists chose other mediums because they were better suited to their plant. Have a look at Simon Deere‘s wonderful, controlled works in graphite [pencil]. Other artists, like Sandra Johnston, selected coloured pencils. The bark on Sandra’s eucalyptus work is amazing. For others the best solution was a mix of media. Two of my favourites used watercolour and graphite.

Joanna Hyunsuk Kim exhibited a couple of Strelizias, and both were gorgeous. However it was the S. nicolai that demanded that I stop and look. It was a dried flower head. The detail of the husk was captured beautifully in graphite, while the petals were watercolour. What really made it for me were the seeds. They had been painted in bright orange and popped off the page when compared to the muted tones of the rest.

Another perfect mix of media was Anne HayesBanksia serrata. The image on the website is lovely, but it doesn’t show the texture of the original. If you have ever touched the leaves of a banksia you will know that they have an interesting combination of a fuzzy surface with tough, prickly structure. Anne has captured that beautifully. And the control of the pattern of the seed head……oh my.

I was also taking note of composition, looking to see how others tell the story of the plant. I was lucky that on my plant, Cullen palladium,  the seeds, mature flowers and buds are all on the one spray. Other specimens are not so accommodating!

Fiona McKinnon solved the problem by having the different stages of the plant on different stalks that intertwined over the page. Kate Nolan’s composition for her Spinifex sericeus combined a couple of strand of the plant. This was another wonderful example of mixing media. Who knew that the humble beach grass could be so ethereal?

These are just a small number of the works. If you saw the exhibition, I hoped you liked it. Tell us, in the comments, which was your favourite. If you missed it, there will be another in two years, with another stunning selection of delights for you.


anne4bags My art work

Why are limpet shells so frustrating?

You know that I have been enjoying painting shells lately. You watched me draw oyster shells and I have raved on about other paintings I have done. So I found some limpet shells on the beach at Apollo Bay and was fascinated by their texture. Their tops are worn smooth and pearlescent while their sides are ridged and lined and multi-coloured.


I played around with watercolour pencils and created some smaller studies. They worked well, and went into my Etsy shop. If I am not happy with one of my works, I won’t put it up for sale.

I wanted to play with painting larger, A4 works, and I thought that I knew how to create one with watercolour pencils. I found out that I didn’t know after all!


There is always a time in a painting where I feel that it is just not working; that time when I feel like throwing a little tantie on the floor, kicking and screaming. In most cases I work through and find that things suddenly come together, and the painting is how I thought it would be. This was not one of those cases. So I left it and started to work on a watercolour version. Can you guess what the result of that one was?


Yep, another one that I wasn’t happy with. 😉

Now I am pondering why. I think there are three issues, but I would love to know what you think. (And in answer to my question in the title — in all fairness, the limpet shell is blameless. The frustration is all my own!)

  1. In both cases I lost the highlights. I loved the smaller ones because they were fresh and light. It is the white of the paper that gives watercolour life. Enlarging the shell encouraged me to add more pencil or paint to the ridges, covering the paper with colour. Can you see the second browny ridge from the left in the photo above? That’s the part of the painting that I like, because the white of the paper shows through. That’s how the rest should be.
  2. The follow on from that is if there are fewer highlights, there are fewer deep darks too. I was working in the mid-tone range too much. Nothing was jumping out, zinging.
  3. I went onto the detail too early. My artisitc default position is to go straight to the detail. I am always reminding myself to go from broad to fine, but I guess I just wasn’t listening. 😉 Then I tried to fix things by adding in details.

What do you think? I would love constructive feedback in the comments.

As for the next….well, I can do this, and I want to succeed. So my next painting is going to be a different limpet shell, one with less colour variation, probably in watercolour. I will let you know how I go!

[Remember, if you like something in my Etsy shop, you can buy it directly through me. Just let me know via this blog or]



Botanic Art My art work

Tomorrow is the big day, but Wednesday will be even bigger!

Tomorrow is the day that I have to drop my painting of Cullen pallidum off to be part of the selection process for the Art of Botanical Illustration, hosted by the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Their standard, both botanical and artistic is very high, so selection is not guaranteed.

Some of the criteria are:

  • accurately represent the form and the botanical characteristics of the chosen subject
  • adequately convey the characteristics of the species or variety and ensure that the subject is representative of the species
  • the painting should be well composed, well executed and artistically effective.

Now it is all done. The painting is finished, I have had a professional scan done of it and have organised a mount and foam core backing. It is protected by plastic…..and ready.

So think of me tomorrow morning, taking that big deep breath when I drop off the painting. And an even bigger, deeper breath on Wednesday when I go to pick the painting up!