Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Woman Sketching



A Woman Sketching
12x16 Watercolor on 300 lb. Arches Aquarelle block.

OK, so I took a couple of photos of my wife and a dear friend sketching and painting during the Thanksgiving holiday - for the purpose of doing a painting of each of them painting. Ken is a friend who comes to spend every Thanksgiving with us (a tradition that started in New York many many years ago). I met him when my wife and I got together back in the ole school days (so I married into him). He is a senior interior designer for a major architectural firm in Washington, DC. Besides his day job he is an excellent photographer and thru the years has become my watercolor buddy.

Of the two paintings I wanted to start with doing a portrait of my wife (naturally). At the same time I was looking (lurking) at the challenge blog, Following the Masters (AutumnLeaves participates in that challenge and has a link so it's easy for me to lurk often). Well I decided to try the FTM challenge at the same time (finally). We had this old oriental rug rolled up down in the basement, and I had this coastal South Carolina map up in my studio, so the only real invention was the tile floor in the kitchen (we have oak floors). The biggest challenge to me as I saw it was creating the strong directional light that is associated with much of Vermeer's work. Vermeer has always always been one of my favorite artists. There are not too many of his pieces that exist in this world - that gives them even more a gem-like quality.

15 comments:

raena said...

omg...WOW! This is fantastic! And you know how I like pictures with people in them!

Jeanette said...

This is very rich visually Gary. I love the lighting and the textures and the composition...I just like all of it. Great job!

Ellen said...

I said the same thing Raena said...OMG! This is just gorgeous, Gary. Beyond gorgeous. Don't be insulted, but I thought at first, before I clicked from my "Dashboard" (the teeny picture)that it was some fabulous artist you discovered and were going to share with us. It just has everything it needs, in perfect amounts. It is just fabulous and I can't say enough about it.

Prabha N. said...

Its beautiful! I love subjects where someone is painting or sketching...and the setting looks like a warm cozy space to sketch in.

AutumnLeaves said...

My goodness Gary! This was also a big wow from me! First, I must say that your wife is beautiful! Secondly, I want that tablecloth...and the map! LOL Your attention to detail is truly stunning in this piece. I recently read a book about Van Meegeren who took to forging works of Vermeer (I liked his own art before he took to the life of forgery). In the reading, I learned that Vermeer was not only esteemed for the lighting from the upper left, but for his use of what was considered (at the time) an unusual blue color. I see you have caught both of those in this exquisite piece. I do hope this will go in a place of honor in your home. It truly is magnificent! So glad you decided to dip into the Following the Masters challenge too! I do so enjoy these challenges; they give me a focus, which helps me an awful lot!

Gillian said...

This is so atmospheric, Gary. Yes, very Vermeer in look and style. My favourite bit has to be the tablecloth. I want to run my fingers over the surface, it looks so tactile and beautiful!

Melissa S. said...

Love the Vermeer-esque-ness of it! Your detail is amazing, and the colors are gorgeous. Your skill is apparent and your wife must love it! It never dawns on me to change up the elements the way you did. Beautiful

Linisha said...

Very very very beautiful Gary!! Such a lovely portrait!!

Robyn said...

Beautiful rich watercolour. I love the light and the detail. Bravo.

Art with Liz said...

Well Shelley was right in sending us to your site - beautiful paintings Gary!

Sadia Hussain said...

Very beautiful Gary! Well composed and great colors to bring out the portrait. Happy Holidays!

Shelley Ross said...

Not sure how I missed this, but I'm glad I found it now. Congratultions on a fantastic painting. Great job. Love it, love it, love it.

And how nice to see your wife!

Shelley

PS.. I will check out that challenge site too. Another week at least before I get my studio running again, but I keep on drawing in the chaos around our home.

SYLVIANE said...

It is wonderful, there is such an ambiance, and those rich colors are so vibrant!
Bravo

Rosemary said...

What a wonderful portrait of your wife! You nailed the Vermeer quality! The darks are so rich - absolutely stunning -a favorite until I see your next one!

Krista Meister said...

What a beautiful painting of Ann! I bet she and your daughter loved it.