‘It’s so psychological for them’: Artist paints likely-absent household portraits for B.C. house sellers

Frances Lawson

Artist Jose de Juan and Bowen Island realtor Mary Lynn Machado. Courtesy Mary Lynn Machado Artist Jose de Juan has lived in Los Angeles, in London, and now he lives in Vancouver. For the reason that of the higher expense of genuine estate in city centres, he turned the good […]

Artist Jose de Juan and Bowen Island realtor Mary Lynn Machado.

Courtesy Mary Lynn Machado

Artist Jose de Juan has lived in Los Angeles, in London, and now he lives in Vancouver. For the reason that of the higher expense of genuine estate in city centres, he turned the good outdoor, which is free and plentiful, into his studio area.

And because of an old friendship with a Bowen Island real estate agent, he’s also tapped into a exceptional sideline as landscape painter of people’s beloved homes. Soon after they have packed up and just ahead of they hand about their keys, realtor Mary Lynn Machado – who is new to the industry – gifts them a portray of their property by Mr. de Juan. It’s generally an intensely emotional working experience, and it has demonstrated so common with clients that Mr. de Juan is fearful about fitting additional commissions into his chaotic timetable.

He is a visual outcomes animator in the film sector by trade, but he paints outdoor, acknowledged as “plein air”’ a side job that is his real passion. He’s drawn to urban environments, especially architecture, he says, and plein air works due to the fact he does not have a studio.

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“Plein air is what worked for me for the reason that I moved a ton, and these are things I can do on the weekend, I just go outside the house, I really do not want a studio. I believe it’s a extremely superior work out for any painter,” the 55-year-previous says.

“But I was variety of compelled into it, for the reason that I was in an condominium, and which is not very conducive to portray. … Even here, I have to go my computer system just about every time I want to paint and I have to go the paintings when I want to do the job.”

Just before sellers hand over their keys, real estate agent Mary Lynn Machado gifts them a painting of their property by Mr. de Juan.

Jose De Juan

Born in Madrid, he left Spain when he was 23. To make a residing, he received a career in the Los Angeles film field, exactly where he identified several proficient painters. He labored at animation studio DreamWorks and for numerous decades at Rhythm & Hues Studios on Oscar-successful movies such as Babe, The Golden Compass and Existence of Pi.

“I didn’t feel there was any function in just executing painting, so I figured I had to locate one thing that had some employment,” he suggests, laughing.

At Rhythm & Hues, he worked side by aspect with Ms. Machado. They worked in the “grooming” department, incorporating painstaking hair and fur specifics to the animated people. Ms. Machado experienced arrive from Ontario, in which she experienced analyzed fantastic artwork and laptop or computer animation. She put in 17 decades at Rhythm & Hues.

“I was an specialist at producing hair on creatures and generating them search sensible,” she says. “I did the hair on the orangutan in Lifestyle of Pi.”

Immediately after the corporation filed for individual bankruptcy in 2013, Mr. de Juan remaining and sooner or later landed a task in London for two a long time, operating on motion pictures this sort of as Disney’s The Jungle Reserve.

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“It was quite intensive on the eyesight because you have to comb and curl, and it is complicated. I was wanting for a adjust, and which is why I arrived to Vancouver, to do one thing else known as ‘lighting.’ That implies you area the lights and make it intriguing in pc graphics and drive the tale. It lent far better with my visual abilities. You direct the viewer’s eye by directing the light.”

In the meantime, Ms. Machado had previously landed a visible outcomes task in Vancouver. She offered her house in Redondo Beach, Calif., and bought a household on Bowen Island in 2014. Before on, she had visited a high school good friend on Bowen, fallen in like with the position and vowed to retire there. They finished up doing the job together yet again in Vancouver, for the same organization.

If she is aware of that a client has a beloved pet, Ms. Machado will inquire Mr. de Juan to incorporate the pet in the painting.

Jose De Juan

But the commutes to Vancouver from Bowen Island had been extended than any commute she’d ever experienced in Los Angeles, and it got to be much too a lot for Ms. Machado. Just after a pair of a long time, she still left to turn out to be a real estate agent. Soon after finding out the ropes from a leading realtor on Bowen, she acquired her licence in 2019.

“I woke up a single working day and claimed to myself, ‘you are eventually dwelling listed here, but you have obtained to do one thing that will let you to pay out your property finance loan and be on Bowen.’”

She states there are 15 realtors on the modest island, which is section of Metro Vancouver and a 20-minute ferry trip to Horseshoe Bay. Ms. Machado utilised her design and style abilities to direct movies and picture shoots for marketing properties – but she required to do anything particular for clients, to stand aside from other realtors.

Ms. Machado obtained an thought from a portray that hung on her wall. For her 50th birthday existing, her aunt had commissioned Mr. de Juan to do a painting for Ms. Machado.

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Even though racking her brain over what to give purchasers, her eyes settled on the painting, and the concept clicked.

“I am not the kind of individual who will obtain a present basket and say, ‘congratulations,’” Ms. Machado says. “I appeared at that portray my aunt experienced gifted me … and that is how it arrived to be. It’s just so pleasurable when I give the paintings to my customers.”

When the sellers are about to move out, she palms them the portray. Today, just after only two a long time as a real estate agent, her business enterprise is thriving.

And Mr. de Juan’s paintings are a hit.

“It’s so emotional for them,” Ms. Machado claims. “I not long ago bought a home that was owned by a few who were being divided and obtaining divorced. I experienced two paintings carried out for every of them. The partner experienced created the home, a attractive home, and they hadn’t planned on selling it. He got tears in his eyes when I offered him the portray.”

Receiving a portray of their property is typically an emotional experience for clientele, Ms. Machado states.

Jose De Juan

So considerably, Mr. de Juan has completed 12 to 15 paintings of residences for Ms. Machado. The paintings are little, 8 inches by 10 inches in dimension. He says they choose 4 to 8 hrs about two sessions in the course of the week, and he does about a person a month. His comprehensive-time visible outcomes occupation is demanding, so he hasn’t received a good deal of time to do his paintings.

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If she is familiar with that a shopper has a beloved pet, Ms. Machado will question Mr. de Juan to consist of the pet in the portray. Or, if the sellers are proud of a water function, or a backyard garden, she’ll inquire him to contain that. Preferably, he likes to paint on web page, where by setting and lighting encourage him, but because of to time constraints, he has to operate with pics of the Bowen Island homes.

“I’m extra of an urban painter, due to the fact I really do not have a vehicle. I’m confined to where the bus can choose me,” states Mr. de Juan, who life with his partner in a tiny Kitsilano condominium. “But I adore painting architecture in common. I like avenue scenes a good deal. There is often a thing exciting. It is not what you paint, but how you paint it.

“In general, if the mild is right, or the ambiance or temper is correct, that is what the concept of the painting is, not the painting alone. So I find myself a joyful area to solution it. I really don’t see it just as a report of this house.”

North Vancouver resident Peter Richards commissioned Mr. de Juan to paint his wife’s backyard garden as a marriage ceremony anniversary current. He’d currently bought 1 of his paintings at an exhibition, so he knew the artist’s operate.

“It seriously captures the back garden additional than a image would,” Mr. Richards says.

The Richards’ undertaking arrived with some urgency, since the heat dome of late June was about to wilt the backyard, and the day lilies and roses had arrived at their peak. Mr. de Juan rushed to the home and sketched the Mediterranean-inspired garden and took images. He involved Mr. Richards’s wife, Kay Sutherland, in the composition.

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Ms. Sutherland, a gardener for the earlier 40 decades, was delighted with the final result and amazed with the artist’s use of light.

“My sister has a portray of my wonderful-grandmother in the garden, and I’ve always believed it was this kind of a pretty thing to have.”

Mr. de Juan isn’t specific his everyday living on the move is around. His partner isn’t thrilled with living in Vancouver and he longs to return to London, so that transfer is on the horizon. Mr. de Juan could go on to paint for his Vancouver purchasers from London. He has performed commissions for Los Angeles shoppers and delivered the paintings to them. He also did a portray for somebody in Thailand.

Mr. de Juan is a lot more worried about London’s substantial expense of living, wherever “they nearly charge you for respiratory.”

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