Maybe it's best if I just ignore the long post gap.
Here is an oil painting of Lara for mother's day, for my mother-in-law. Nancy, if you're reading, pretend to be surprised in a few weeks!
I painted this 9x12 canvas board entirely with a palette knife, which is a really fun tool for creating texture. Very freeing, especially for someone like me who usually cannot seem to get away from perfectionist impulses in my brushwork. The stencil was made out of freezer paper, which has a waxed side that was just tacky enough to stick a little to the blue layer of oils (which was already dry). I basically winged this whole technique so I'm pretty excited that it turned out so well.
Coming in the next few days more mother's day things, including a present for my actual mom (I'm still finishing it up)!