Challenge success: local artist paints 100 portraits

Magdalena Saito shows her improvements in painting portraits. The painting on the left was her first portrait, and on the right is her hundredth. (Photo submitted)Magdalena Saito shows her improvements in painting portraits. The painting on the left was her first portrait, and on the right is her hundredth. (Photo submitted)
Magdalena Saito has painted 100 portraits that are currently on display at the Vanderhoof Public Library.(Photo submitted)Magdalena Saito has painted 100 portraits that are currently on display at the Vanderhoof Public Library.(Photo submitted)

A Vanderhoof artist hopes to inspire others to take up a challenge of their own after painting dozens of portraits.

The 100 Portrait Challenge Art Show by Magdalena Saito opened Friday, Dec. 17, at the Vanderhoof Public Library.

“Because I enjoy painting, I wanted to challenge myself with something I’ve always wanted to learn how how to do, but never really learned how to, and it was portraits,” Saito said.

“So I decided I would challenge myself by doing 100 of them thinking experiences would help.”

Saito typically hosts paint nights in the community focusing on landscapes and does digital artwork such as cartoon illustrations.

As her portraits progressed, she described it as an exciting process to see them go from ‘cartoony and giant-eyed’ to something more recognizable.

Her refined skill and technique are visible in the subject she first painted and ended with.

“It’s not to the point where I’d like to be, but I can see the improvement, and I want to be able to do more and find a style that’s all my own,” Saito said.

“It’s just so fun to create and see it come to life.”

The 100 Portrait Challenge Art Show, sponsored by Canfor and Four Rivers Co-op, will run until the first week of January.

Saito hopes her portraits will inspire others to pick up what they have wanted to do and show that perseverance can pay off.

“If you want to learn to do something, nothing is stopping you from trying,” she said.

“Whether it’s art or it’s a project, whether you want to write a book, whether you want to learn to ski, you got to start somewhere.”

Read More: Finding freedom in expression through painting


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