Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two Lasses

I have to admit, I’m guilty of larceny.  Yep, I used several friends photos (one from a post on Facebook and the other a family photo sent to us via email) as reference material for a couple of paintings.  My “excuse” is probably the same one heard many times in courthouses throughout the country:  “I just couldn’t help myself.”

I always have my eye out for good painting subjects and several of our friends unknowingly dangled the bait right in front of me.  Like a cutthroat trout eying a Royal Coachman fly, I bit.  Their photographic skills were just too hard to resist.  Both had captured that extra something, a personality that spoke volumes.  A more scrupulous artist would have asked permission, but then the “need” to produce what they expected would have put unwanted pressure on me.  This way, I could just throw away the paintings if I deemed them unworthy and they would be none the wiser.  So in the absence of expectations by others, I just followed my whims.  

In the end though, I had to turn myself in, but oh the fun I had during my “crime spree.”  I hope the grandparents of the subjects enjoy their new paintings.


                                         Olivia     12x12 inches   Alkyd on Canvas     Private Collection

It started when Olivia's grandma sent us photos of her grandchildren.  Something about those eyes, her innocence spoke to me and off I went.  The original photo depicts Olivia's full figure while the background is a lawn covered with autumn leaves.  Enter Photoshop's cropping tool.  I didn't want any distractions in the painting resorting, instead to a somewhat neutral setting.  Of course my original attempt drew a "NO" from my chief critic (Karen) so that had to change.  Similarly lettering on Olivia's sweatshirt somehow disappeared.  Alas, so much for my depicting unedited history.


                           Miss Brooke     12x12 inches     Alkyd on Canvas     Private Collection

Her mom posts many photos of Brooke on her Facebook page.  Annie's a terrific photographer and has captured quite a number that I've secretly moved onto our computer.  I based this painting on an image in which Brooke appeared in an elegant maroon dress holding a violin.  It's a classic and I wonder if it was her first recital.  Opting for a close-up portrait, I decided to change Brooke's clothes, choosing instead a dress she wore in another Facebook photo.  Later I found out that Annie had even made the dress, thus adding meaning to the painting.  Sometimes I get lucky.

8 comments:

Terri Mappin (Seasons 365 Project) said...

These portraits are absolutely beautiful! I don't think you will have to worry ... the Grandparents ... parents and the children too, will be very pleased!

Carol McCabe said...

Cherished...I look at it everyday and my heart sings!!!

Bill Fulton said...

Wonderful portraits that show great skill, Don. You've mastered the art of skin tones and face shapes. Beautiful!

Sara Montgomery said...
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Sara Montgomery said...

Thank you for painting Olivia! I am Olivia's mom, and the moment that I saw the painting I was immediately back in the moment that the photo was taken. I work full time, but I had an unexpected day off, so Olivia and I took a trip to the park before school. It was a wonderful day. The portrait is just beautiful! You captured her perfectly!

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Thanks Terri, Carol, Bill. They're fun (and challenging) to do. And thank you, too, Sara. I'm sure glad you like it.

Sara Montgomery said...

Thank you for painting me… I LOOOOOVE it. You are a great painter! ~ Olivia

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Olivia: I'm so glad you like it. You're such a lovely young lady that when I saw the photo of you, I couldn't resist painting your portrait. I hear you love art, too, so you know how much fun I had painting you. Don