The best part about being an artist is...
About a week ago I was visiting over the phone with my dear friend Beverly, who was telling me about how her frail Mama escaped death's grasp a few days prior. Beverly has been caring for her Mama for a couple of months now and was telling me about Mama's hospital stay over Mother's Day weekend, and her ride back home. On the way back home from the hospital, Beverly observed her Mama from the rear view mirror of her car, how she was drinking in all the sights from the back seat windows. What was she internalizing? What was she thinking? I imagine a lot.
After Beverly shared with me about her Mama's hospital visit and observations, she asked if I would call her when I plan on going out to plein air paint so she could bring her Mama to watch me paint. The other day I made hasty plans to go out painting, but the weather suddenly changed to rain and my plans were dashed. So I decided to call up Beverly and asked if I could come over that morning and paint for them...and that I wanted to paint her Mama.
"Mama" 14x11" Oil
Now I'm not normally a portrait painter and there are many who are truly talented enough to make a good living with this genre, but for me it's just fun and a great exercise in observation. We sat over coffee in the kitchen nook, set up my pochade box and posed Mama with the window light streaming on her left. We then draped a dark cloth over the window behind her and closed the opposing blinds to make for more dramatic light. Beverly tenderly applied some makeup on her Mama and then dressed her with a white blouse, black blazer and some silver earrings. Within thirty minutes we had transformed the room into a studio and Mama looked like a queen. We then placed a large mirror behind my easel so she could watch the painting (as well as provide something for her to focus on) while being the model. Beverly put on this beautiful Opera music, which I don't usually listen to, and I felt my heart come alive. The painting poured out of me and the joy of the experience of painting Mama was overwhelming. We all felt the beauty of art. I had only a few hours to paint before I had to leave to pick up my son from school, and as I was finishing up, I decided that Beverly and her family needed this painting more then I.
The best part about being an Artist is in the sharing.
And here is a clip of the session... it's a bit long, but you can enter in for just a moment.