25 February 2009

Aisha Reading Joseph Campbell

22 3/4" x 22 3/4", watercolour, 2000, private collection

The scene for this painting is the lobby of the Tides Hotel which can be seen from the outside in Lobby. The composition of model and background was done the same way as the previous painting (and others). I can't explain the view outside the windows, though; I think my photo blew out the windows, making them all white with no view of anything except for the bush just outside. Or something.

The book she's reading is Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I chose that book as I was reading it at the time of the photo shoot with Aisha and, not only was it handy, I was enjoying it quite a bit. I also like the way it looks without its dust jacket showing off the blue binding and white covers.

16 February 2009

Tides



22" x 22", watercolour, 2000

Continuing from Lobby, this painting also concerns the now-defunct Tides Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The model is Aisha, a woman I was working with at the same time and place I worked with the ladies who provided the house for my Interiors series. The photo ref of her was taken around 1999 or 2000 and was used to superimpose her on the hotel background from a photo taken almost ten years before (much like in Timing is Everything). Often when I'm shooting photo reference, I have no idea how the pictures will be used for the final painting(s), for example, the model above wasn't photographed with the intent to combine her with the hotel, that came about later while going through my many photos to see what I wanted to paint next. These two just came together...quite nicely, too, I think.

The hotel photo for this was taken from just outside our room --and you can just barely make out the red ceramic-tiled roof of the lobby area above her left shoulder, giving you an idea of this painting's spatial relationship to Lobby.

This painting appears in a much-reduced form as a background element in AW-026.


08 February 2009

Lincoln's Bicentennial

11" x 8.5", pencil, 2009

All that talk about not sleeping to do those Abraham Lincoln illustrations for Union Pacific's celebration of his bicentennial from a commission by Bailey Lauerman, and only now am I getting around to an image-based post about it.

The client, UP, wanted more of a profile than I had originally drawn (and painted, as per my original instructions) and this is what I offered. As I was preparing the email to send this new drawing, I had a brainstorm that maybe it'd look pretty cool if he had his left hand on his lapel in a classic Lincoln pose. So I very quickly Photoshopped a version like that using elements of this one (below). The hand-on-lapel variation was approved, and you can see the final illustration, with the finished, new version of Abe Photoshopped over the previous ones' background here.

I also did the two steam engines that appear on the home page and the old-style decorative motifs that appear at the bottom of various pages. These illustrations will be used for a variety of purposes in a variety of ways...but for now, that's all you and I get.

03 February 2009

Lobby

11" x 15", watercolour, 2001, private collection

The "Love Cures" auction is this week (see previous post) and I thought I'd follow up with an old painting based upon a photo taken while on vacation in 1992 in Florida. This is the lobby of the now-defunct Tides Hotel where I stayed with a couple of friends, Chris Patheiger and Jon Cooper, in St. Petersburg. Just to the left (out of sight) are the shuffleboard courts where Coop and I played dozens of games over what must have been three or four hours straight.

Chris now owns this painting.

This painting was the first where I didn't paint over the pencil lines where there are very thin elements (but not quite visible here, the power/telephone lines). Normally, I would have used paint over them so it would remain a "painting" but I realized the bare pencil lines were thinner than any paint I could have applied (therefore, getting the actual desired effect), and, more importantly, it's still a painting even if you see some pencil lines or use them for their own sake.