Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Commission no.2 - Vincent

18" x 18" x 1.5", oil on masonite

Lora, a friend of a friend, asked me if I would be interested in painting a portrait of her deceased cat Vincent - the name coming from his short ears that give him his unique appearance (he'd lost them due to an infection when they had taken him in).  She, like Nina, was hesitant at first and confessed her concern w/ the stigma associated with the subject claiming that she was "not one who thought of herself with portraits of deceased pets lining her halls".  However, Vincent had become a very important part of her life and she wanted something to remember him by.  She picked out this statuesque photo of him standing guard on their deck and I saw many exciting opportunities in the white fur texture and the vibrant greens of the fall landscape behind him.  Although the pose and the subject inevitably create a dramatic impression, I set out to paint only what I saw and leave it impressionistic enough so that it didn't get too close to the traditional melodramatic pet painting where there's a floating head that looks oddly human-like with painted auras of light around it.  I am fairly happy with the turnout and I believe she was too.  Thanks Lora! 

Commission no.1 - Dutch Landscape w/ Windmills


I painted this for Nina Settels - a very supportive and loyal patron of mine living in Belgium.  When she first suggested the idea, she admitted to her awareness of it being a sort of "chocolate box" subject, but it was still something that was very nostalgic for her as she grew up in Holland around very similar scenes.  Shipping it to her was a nerve-wracking experience as the few other paintings I've sold internationally were no bigger than 8" x 8".  I covered the painting in about 6 layers of bubble wrap and checked the customs forms way too many times to make sure there were no indiscrepancies, but it ended up getting there safe and sound.  Thanks Nina!