At the art gallery I sometimes see this beautiful dog. I discovered it belonged to the Winsmith Mill manager. It was my mission to get a photo of the dog and surprise him with a painting. I got it done just in time for Christmas and now he can always have his dog at work with him. He was both surprised and pleased.
A favorite painting spot near us on the Cape has always had a red boat anchored. After painting it and discovering a second red boat the following year, I was compelled to paint it again. This time I did it larger. The second boat was named the Hero and I liked idea of it as a service boat headed out to help other boaters. When a couple really wanted the painting, but didn't like the name on the boat, I agreed to change it. I thought the whites were needed to carry the eye rhythmically back from one boat to the next and was afraid it might spoil that movement, but after removing it, the painting looked just fine and they were very pleased. I am glad I am not wedded to my work.
A few items grouped together can suggest a moment or a mood. Fresh fruit and flowers can be carefully combined with other objects to make an appealing composition and, at the same time, have a visual appeal that triggers a memory or desire that relates to a viewer. After deciding on a color harmony and the best angle for viewing, I make a thumbnail sketch to familiarize myself with the values and relationships before blocking in. Next I block in my values and large masses. After that, I start to bring the shapes into a recognizable form before finally adding the details.
Every year I love decorating for the holidays and bringing some color and cheer to my walls. It is fun to change out paintings for a while and alter the feel of the spaces where we spend a lot of time with friends and family. Being together feels warm and cheerful and that is the mood I try to impart in the paintings. When deciding on colors, I warm them up and add a luminous effect with highlights and reflections. I have supplied the family each with a Christmas painting of their own, but will keep doing one or two each year just for the sheer joy of painting them. I seem to be leaning toward some white motifs lately and enjoy exploring all the colors that are "white".