Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ethan, Gavin & Tatum and The Battle Family Portraits

Ethan, Gavin and Tatum
acrylic on canvas
36" w x 30"h
commissioned by Joe & Kim Delonghi

When my son Tristan started Junior Kindergarten in 2003, I was introduced to a whole new group of friends--something that was completely unexpected for me. This new group of friends are incredibly supportive, smart, influential and a whole other list of adjectives that I could go on and on with (at the risk of sounding like I am kissing ass).  In 2003, I had several of my older paintings hanging around our house which people definitely commented on.

One day, my friend Kim Delonghi asked me to paint a commission for her--actually, she kind of insisted on it. She had a great idea--she named her children after Ethan Hawke, Gavin Rossdale and Tatum O'Neal. Kim asked me to create a portrait of her children's namesakes. I was intimidated by the idea but eventually accepted the commission...and here we are 4 years later.  Above is the completed portrait, "Ethan, Gavin and Tatum". The Delonghi's were very happy with it and it hangs proudly in their home.  I guess I'd have to credit with kickstarting my entire painting career.  Thank you Kim.

The Battle Family
acrylic on canvas
48" w x 36" h
commissioned by Leslie Battle

My business has been generated completely by word of mouth advertising. I absolutely LOVE creating family portraits, in a very non-traditional way, of course. Shortly after creating the Delonghi's portrait, I was commissioned by my friend Leslie Battle to create a family portrait for her. Leslie gave me complete and utter artistic license--not everyone does, but to each his own. 

I create my paintings from working with photographs. In the case of a family portrait, I do not a need a family "photograph" but rather separate photos of all the individuals to be used. From there, I draw the family members separately then create a composition of my own on the canvas. Then I paint. The Battle's portrait is shown above.  I chose to paint little Coco Battle with her missing tooth space. Poor little Coco actually cried when she saw the painting initially because she thought she looked too scary. Cut to a couple of years later, I saw Coco in the playground, proudly showing her friends postcards with her family portrait's image on them. I think she got over her perceived "scariness". I wanted to show the missing tooth to capture a short moment in time, very indicative of her age at the time of the portrait. Coco is actually stunningly beautiful, as is her sister Maddie...

Enough about me...what do you think about me?  This blogging thing is kind of weird but I think it will help to show those who are interested in my work just what my process is.  


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