On many occasions, I can easily come up with valid reasons why I cannot/ should not accept the challenge... in fairness to both parties. Most often... the internal memories of the individual client often supersede the ability of any artist to satisfy the deeply embedded and romantic remembrance of a home which is constructed of much more than wood and brick. To make things even worse... the client is often a third party well-intentioned spouse or family member only wanting to completely "surprise" the actual home dweller with a meaningful gift. There is a huge risk in the undertaking!
However... in this particular case, the client is an old friend from my past life in this area... who lost her first husband and has found a wonderful new partner to bring unexpected joy into her life again. I have had them in the Gallery together and sensed the very close connection and happiness that has developed between them. I have a "sense of"... the farm lad who grew up rurally and as is the case with us all... has had time change things in his life as it moved along. His memories of the brick farm house of his youth... now completely gone... are so deeply embedded in his persona... that they are going to build a get away "shack" to retreat to in the summer months.
Though my trepidation in accepting this commission remains powerfully unnerving to me... I agreed to go ahead with it, so the process has begun. I have gotten off to a slow start I'm afraid... a part of the blame for this can be attributed truthfully to the fact that I have been "under the weather" fighting off a very bad chest and head cold. However... the truth, as well is that my enthusiasm is a bit dampened by my fear of flying... upside-down and totally off course. I hate to disappoint... but that has been over-ridden in this case by may greater inability to say no to a friend. So let the game begin!
I am going to cruise through this painting adventure... offering you a chance to sit in the co-pilot's seat here on my blog. Perhaps it will serve to motivate me... and just maybe... it will encourage each of you to step up and take risks. Sometimes they yield our best opportunities to learn and develop! I'll be interested to hear your comments as this journey proceeds. Here's the "flight plan" as it stands before I taxi up the runway... and get into the process of flying/ painting!
Creating A Flight Plan:
Here are the assorted photographic references. The black n' white snow scape photos are all that remain to show that this homestead ever existed. They are helpful in that they offer a three quarter view which will help create more than a two dimensional perspective to work from. Less guessing! Not a help on the other hand... because the fellow's memory of the house in winter... cold and drafty is not what either he or my client will want in the final painting.
Note how much taller and fuller the smallish and straggly white cedars in the back and whites are. They would most certainly dominate the facade view... were you to want to paint that house today!
Gone is the windmill which supplied lift for the well water... replaced by a drilled well now. Modernity... pluses and minuses!
I have a very useful and easy-to-use Sony camera software programme installed in my computer which came with my Sony Cybershot 10X Zoom camera. Though it is an inexpensive camera... it is very portable and produces images with excellent resolution and colour. I simply shot a picture of the larger of the two black and white images provided, transferred it to my Image Zone area in my computer where I selected the part of the editing program, that would allow me to play with the photo enhancing the sharpness, contrast, brightness and even the exposure. Here is the results of that process shown in a print 8x10 inches taken from my printer:
Note the wealth of new data... ie brick patterns, window details and the emergence of a once hidden side door entrance at the right rear of the house and the easy identification of the rusted and silver tinned roof design. All of these new facts add to my better understanding of the subject. As small a gain as this might seem... it does truly add excitement and encouragement to proceed... with less trepidation.
My next step is to play around with the total reference package in my sketchbook. I have chosen pencil to make my first in road into understanding and translating the structure outside of the photo reference. This is essential for me to "own" the process and take the stick... and fly using my own intuition and experience. This style of house is very common in this area... so it was a very task to drive out a few miles from here to actually see other examples which very closely resembled this home in appearance and even in age. Those things completed... here is my rough pencil rendering that I will work from to get "off the ground"... and into the air... painting/flying. Strangely enough painting and flying both offer the same feeling... freedom! Don't you agree??? I wonder....
Note the pencilled in memory "notes" to further help in filling in the blanks. Not much detail... just basic and simple structure to get "lift off."
Canvas size selected is 14 x 18 inches... a reasonable space to work with. Will encourage me to keep away from becoming being too fussy and detailed.
Ready to taxi!... Permission to take off! "Sky" is clear... UP! UP!... and AWAY !!
PS I am currently experiencing great difficulty typing return comments to my Followers! It types when and if it wants to respond! Weird! Bear with me until I get it sorted out! Thanks for your understanding!