What a "commission" looks like...
It was the Big Reveal: Saturday, late afternoon, over lovely lemoncello martinis, I finally let my next door neighbors see the painting they had commissioned me to do. I've been dying to blog about it but wanted to finish it and let them see it before I shared it with all you all.
Here's the back story: Alan & Valerie bought a perfect lakefront lot a few blocks away that came with a tiny 1960's brick ranch style house. Very retro, very funky; more fish-camp than home, but with so much history of family summers on the lake; croquet on the lawn, boating and fishing and everything that goes with it. They salvaged many treasures, like wood paneling that had been previously salvaged from a historic downtown building when the house was built in the first place, an adorable little chandelier, a pair of old metal lawn chairs, now refurbished with glossy red paint. But the house had to go. No matter how clever the remodel, it would still be a low-ceilinged, musty, funky old house. So to preserve all that it represented, they commissioned me (astounding confidence in my abilities) to paint a "portrait" of the old place.
My challenge was getting the perspective right so that it looked like itself and to capture the nostalgia of those days gone by. I wanted to apply the lessons I learned last Spring and Fall at the plein air workshops…keep things loose and simple, keep values close, keep edges soft. Tell a story, have a focal point.
Here are my reference photos of the house. I know, I know. I should have set up my easel and painted from life, but A. I'm new at this, aright?! B. It was frightfully hot when I took these pictures (and I tend to have a narrow range of Comfortable unless I'm near a swimming pool and C. The house was bulldozed a few days later.
Coincidentally I immersed myself in Mad Men episodes on Netflix while painting this and got thoroughly retro in the process. Didn't take up smoking, thankfully! Here is the finished painting "Days Gone By" 11x14 gallery-wrapped canvas:
2/11/2014 07:58:35 am
Your painting turned out just beautifully! Saw it in person Sunday at Valerie's and it looks great!
2/12/2014 12:00:45 am
What bravery! On your part…to take on the assignment, on their part to offer it to you (being a neighbor, I mean…what if they were disappointed?) And look at the splendid painting that came out of all that bravery! The world is a better place. I mean it!
2/13/2014 03:27:01 am
Alan I are so excited about our painting!! We were sad to have to demo this little house, but now we will always have an awesome reminder of "days gone by"! Wendy is so talented and we couldn't be happier with the results!! We will treasure it always!! And the Martinis with her homemade limoncello were great too!!
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Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...