Fabulous faces, happy memories

Face painting a dream job for Ottawa artists who love colour, paint and children

face-painting-1-fall13Face painting is a time-honoured art that thrills children and parents alike. And for several Ottawa-area artists, it’s their passion.

Lynne Ethier, owner of LynneART Face and Body Painting (search for the company name on Facebook) was drawn to face painting while taking a theatre makeup workshop in the late ‘80s.

It combines her love of the arts with her love of children, and she was instantly hooked.

“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing a child’s big smile when he/she looks in the mirror to see to their amazement, their transformation,” she says.

Ethier has been painting with mixed media and drawing/painting with dry pastels since her early teenage years.

Her preferred face paint is water soluble and contains aloe, chamomile, glycerin, avocado oil and cocoa butter. The makeup comes off with mild soap and water.

Ethier also teaches introduction to face painting and art lessons to children.

face-painting-4-fall13Jacqueline ten Hartog was inspired to pursue her passion for face painting after emigrating in 2007 from the Netherlands, where she was a member of an amateur theatre group. “I knew I really found my hobby, my passion and I loved it,” she says.

Her business, Jacky’s Face Painting (www.jackysfacepainting.ca) soon took off.

ten Hartog has face painted people of all ages. “If I turn the mirror, you see the same happy feeling in the eyes of the grandparent or the grandchild.”

She’s even face painted the Governor General’s wife.
“People with face paint on feel more free,” she says. “You’re wearing a mask, an eye-design. And that is so much fun to see.”

face-painting-2-fall13Tracy Leon started to face paint in 2007, inspired by the artist who painted her daughter’s face.

In 2011, she became the owner of the Smile Factory (www.smilefactory.ca).

“I love colour, love paint and love children, so it all goes together very well,” she says.

“Sometimes it can be a challenge painting a ‘moving canvas,’ but (it’s) always very rewarding to see the joy on the children and parents’ faces after I am done.”

Her work takes her all over the city. She once painted a 94-year-old woman.

Leon works with her daughter Olivia, and two other painters.

“It is a great way for her to expand her artistic talents and we are constantly learning from each other.”

The Smile Factory serves children’s parties, corporate events, picnics, and more.

Photo: Lynne Ethier, LynneART Face & Body Painting
Photo: Jacqueline ten Hartog, Jacky’s Face Painting
Photos: Tracy Leon, Simile Factory