Cupid and Psyche

When my husband and I got married in August of 1993, my parents gave us a trip to Italy for our honeymoon. I had just graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a fine arts degree and many art history classes behind me. My art history focus was on Italian art, so getting to see the art in person was exhilarating!!! Florence will always be my favorite Italian art city, but Venice caught my attention in a big way…

All over the city were posters of this beautiful sculpture. It stated that at a museum in Venice, Antonio Canova’s sculptures would be featured there. Well, you know I had to go see that!!! All of his sculptures are stunning, but when we walked into an all black room with light shining on this gorgeous art piece, my breath was taken away.

(The Louvre has rights to this photo)

Twenty five years later, August of 2018, on our anniversary, my family and I took a trip to Paris. It was really a graduation gift for our youngest daughter for graduating high school. (She had always wanted to go to Paris.) One of our days was devoted to the Louvre. This artist was at home with all the masters. I enjoyed every nook and cranny of the museum. We literally saw the entire museum, from bottom to top. It took us all day and we were exhausted after, but it was well worth the effort.

In one of the sculpture rooms, I was enjoying all of the pieces and trying to remember what I had learned in my classes. I wasn’t paying attention to what was at the end of this room. My husband stood in front of me and told me he had a surprise for me. He told the girls that I was going to cry when I saw it. He stepped out of the way and there was that same sculpture we had seen in Venice, my favorite sculpture of all time… Antonio Canova’s, Love and Psyche. I did cry!!! To see it again was a true blessing to me and to see it on two very special occasions was magical. I knew it was going to be the subject of one of my paintings.

(These are my photos!!!😂)

Here is my map of the painting…

I always start with the background and build my paintings from there. I am finger painting at this point…

Notice the room change? I have a new studio!!! My oldest girl moved to Austin and her old room is my studio. (We are going to put a futon in there for her long visits.)

I decided from the beginning that I didn’t want to make the painting exactly like the sculpture, I wanted to put my own spin on it. I also wanted the marble lovers to slowly be coming to life. How love blooms.

I continue to build their contours and emphasize the lighting around their bodies. I have moved to brushes now. They give a smoother look that I want for this piece…

I usually end up staring at my canvases for a while to determine the corrections that need to be made and last minute detail work is done at this time. I stare at it some more and then know it is a finished painting…

Passion: Song of Solomon 1:2

24″x36″ canvas

Oils (finished on September 14, 2018)

A new thing I will be doing to all of my original canvases is this:

You can buy art prints and other items of this painting at Zazzle:

or my Society6 store:

Next up, legging shark!!! ❤️🎨🦈


Summer Vacation 2011 Series- Benini Sculpture Ranch

Inside Johnson City, TX is a very interesting outdoor experience- The Benini Sculpture Ranch. As you drive up to the ranch, there are sculptures on both sides of the road. When you get to the main building, there are many interesting sculptures and paintings inside. More sculptures await you as you continue up to the ranch house. It sits on a hill that has a beautiful view of the surrounding area. I highly recommend seeing this creative adventure. You won’t be disappointed.

Sincerely yours,

Sophie Grumble