Friday, August 29, 2014

A Glimpse Into the Artist's Imagination

My husband started a new painting this week.  It's one that he has been mentally working on for some time now ... trying to put together a pleasing composition and make the overall painting into an accurate representation of the subject.  

It started with a photo that I have shown you before ... one of my favorites ... an image of a special moment between Daniel and me in 2011, which we knew had the potential to be a wonderful portrait.

While the subject and the mood of this photo is perfect, the background is not.  We have brainstormed different things that we could replace it with ... never finding anything that felt right.  Inspiration struck while we were at Biltmore two weeks ago, as we were admiring John Singer Sargent's portrait of Frederick Law Olmstead.  (truth be told, we were standing there trying to scheme a way to get the enormous painting off the wall and leave with it without being arrested.)

A portrait of the man surrounded by the garden of his creation ... perhaps we could do that with the painting of me.  (Let me say, up front, that my husband is a master of editing things with Photoshop, and he did lots of that to get to our final image.)

With this inspiration in mind, we got to work.  I searched through my photos to find one that would provide the look we wanted.  I found this one, of 'Alexandre Girault' spilling over the Rambler Fence, but the composition was going the wrong direction.

No problem ... it was a simple matter for him to flip the photo and make the bulk of the rose fill the empty spot in the upper right part of the composition.

now it's pointing the correct direction

The cement slab that I was sitting on in the original photo is too white and very distracting ... but, what could we replace it with?  How about some decking to go along with the weathered fence?

photo of the steps of our pavilion.

With all the pieces of this puzzle in place, and quite a bit of time spent with Photoshop cutting and pasting and adjusting colors and saturation and levels of the various components, the final inspiration image for the painting looks like this:

My husband was eager to get started on the painting right away, and he sketched everything onto the canvas the other day ...

... and he started the underpainting last night.

Even at this stage, I can see that this will most certainly be a very special portrait that captures so many of my favorite things in one fictitious-but-very-representative image.  I have a perfect spot already picked out to for it to hang it's finished ... it's gonna be a while till I can do that, tho.

(want to see more of my husband's art?  Go to his web site.)


  1. It must be wonderful to have such a great artist in the family. You are lucky!

  2. Oh, my goodness, this is astonishing! What a talented artist your husband is and that painting is going to be absolutely wonderful. Can't wait to see the finished piece!

  3. This is going to be a very special piece for sure. Your husband is so talented!

  4. Oh, this is going to be perfect! What a special combination of so many of your loves. :)

  5. That isn't fictitious, it's just mixed fact! All the photos he's using are real, just taken at different times. This is going to be spectacular!!!

  6. This is such a stunning composition of three different photos, and making a painting of it, your husband must be a creative artist. Looking forward to the time it's finished and hanging on your wall.

  7. What a Photoshop wiz! The painting is going to be beautiful!

  8. You both are so talented! That is going to be a very special painting for sure and I look forward to seeing it finished. My husband also painted and his paintings are special to me.

    Have a wonderful weekend ~ FlowerLady

  9. P.S. I just went to your husband's website and his paintings have such vibrant life in everyone.

  10. What a great post. The process, the artist and the subject....all of it.
    Including those shoes!

  11. Creativity and beauty all in one post, Connie. You two just radiate happy!

  12. It's going to be a fabulous painting, but can I add--luv your new short hair-do but om I want that head of long hair!

  13. Wow that is just amazing. I can't wait to see the finished painting.

  14. I love it! It's going to be so very special and beautiful hanging on your wall.


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