Last year, a friend of ours told us about a great little cabin outside of Franklin, North Carolina. Chuck and I went and stayed there for his birthday, and I have been there twice by myself while Chuck was on business trips. Over spring break, my sister and I went and stayed for almost a week. It was great! The cabin is right beside a rushing creek! I took a photograph of the front and have spent the last couple of mornings working on this painting. Hope it will give you an idea of what a neat little place it is.
I painted this about a year and a half ago. I had seen a photo in a local state magazine of a young man serving coffee. I loved his vest, the cup and saucer, and the dishes behind him. So, off I went! UNTIL I got to the face. In the photo, the man was nerdy looking with glasses and a cone shaped hat. I decided to substitute my son Kirk's face. The photo I used for the painting was his senior picture. You can see from the inset that he has changed quite a bit in eight years. (It was also one of my first portrait attempts, and I made his face a little too dark.) When I finished the painting, I gave it to him. Now, he has it out each time I visit him in Raleigh. (Not sure if he gets it out only for my visits - ha! ha!) He is, and always has been, one of my biggest supporters with my art.
I had a great time with this painting! In one of the workshops I attended, I learned how to prepare canvases with different types of textures. This painting was done on a very roughly textured canvas which was developed with a base of gesso and then a sprinkling of a sandy substance used by ceramic artists. I loved this exercise because it gave me a chance to experiment with, not only the rough texture, but also with a soft wash and blending of the background. I also had the opportunity to work on facial features and hands and to practice value and shading.