Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Family Duet"
16" x 15"
Arches 300 lb. hot press

Kelly and Grandpa Bob play the flute

Finally, time to paint! I began this piece before I left in March for my long bicycle tour and trip to Europe. You can see the start here. As I described in that post, Bob played flute with granddaughter Kelly when my son's family visited us from Vermont in July 2010. When I took the photo, I grabbed it quickly and without their knowledge. I don't do my compositions with the camera, so I didn't mind that I did not have a real tight shot of Kelly and Bob. I had enough information to draw the figures. (This photo also served as source for a painting of Kelly that I did in acrylic. I created the background from imagination.)

I closely cropped the drawing so there is a sense of one, not two, subjects. I used Arches 300 lb. hot press, which I discovered I like for figure work when experimenting in Ted Nuttal's workshop. I layered the background, starting with a pale yellow/cadmium scarlet over which I put several thin washes of thalo blue/cadmium scarlet. I wanted a mottled finish, so I mixed the colors on the paper and finished with an extra caligraphic wash in the top third.

Kelly is not only a flutist, but a competitive horsewoman as well. I was so pleased to learn that yesterday Kelly did her first ever gymkhana on Spirit, her white horse. Kelly, 15, competes now in a class that can include adults and does not have the immensely expensive horse and tackle, nor a hired groomsmen. Kelly told her Mom she was just going to take it easy and get experience in the event. Apparently, Spirit has done this type of competition with her previous owner, and when she heard the starting whistle, she was off like a shot. Kelly always does well in horsemanship classes because she is an excellent rider. They took third place! I can see this pair doing more gymkhana.


AutumnLeaves said...

I am just amazed that at 15 she will play the flute with her grandpa! Such an awesome thing and I loved the painting and now the photograph too. Such a cherished moment! Congrats to her successful competition!

hw (hallie) farber said...

A beauatiful painting, Mary. I think it's always difficult to portray natural stances in paintings--you did it, though.

Now I have to look up gymkhana. Talented grandchildren!

hmuxo said...

Mary, this is beautifully painted. I love it!

Tim Robinson said...

There is some nice sentimental value in this one. I love it.