After a pleasant conversation and much banter and kidding the gentleman asked me if I ever made paintings from a photograph. I assured him that on occasion... and when necessary I did so. He pulled out a rather tattered picture of a very elegant Victorian home from his wallet and asked, "What about this one? I quickly and politely) glanced over the black and white photo... looking for elements that might form the basis for my answering yes. I do say no to any potential project presented which I can't commit to. Better to be honest right up front than to suffer throughout the commission process... and find yourself boxed in by a product which was doomed for failure right from the start.
I replied after some searching... that it was a charming subject and could be a possibly good painting subject... but that I would need some facts from him that weren't obvious from the small 2x4 inch black and white. Both he and his wife chimed in immediately that they had a box of pictures from which they could provide more reference for me to begin. I agreed to consider it further during our Monday morning meeting.
"Summer Reliquary" looked absolutely stunning in its potential home over their off white wooden fireplace mantle. Its vertical strength and the warmth of the frame picked up all of the colours of their other furniture and décor. Smashing! I am proud to have it placed in this elegant home... and in the care of this lovely and discriminating couple.
The three extra small and coloured reference photos did in fact pique my interest and I agreed to work up a sketch in pen and ink based upon this reference and to present it to them for final approval and further direction as to size and medium to be used. They agreed that the commission go forward in oil in a 16x20 inch canvas format... and that suited me for certain!
It turns out that this lovely home is located in Waterville.. in the Eastern Township of Quebec. It is the gentleman's family home. It means a lot to him for the same reasons that our own family homes strike nostalgic chords in all of us. A home isn't just a house. It's a place where one's heart can return to... long after our feet have left it forever!
It is an honour and I am proud to be asked to share in recreating a semblance of that memory which he clings to daily...in his wallet... so deeply into the later years of his journey! I'll do my best to to disappoint him!
On to the easel tomorrow! Here's where I will start the painting process from.
memory notes to guide the painting process.
Some might call it luck... but luck has nothing to do with the good fortune we continue to enjoy... as each new day arrives here in Rockport... both on the land and on the water. Simply put : in order to catch fish... one must put a line in the water! HA HA!!
A Northern Pike 31 inches in length and weighing in at 7 lb. What a great fish fry we enjoyed the next.evening! YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEE!