Thursday, December 17, 2015

Boots on the Ground

Boots on the Ground

8 x 8
Oil on Raymar Panel

James Gurney is sponsoring a challenge.  The challenge is to write a story using only 6 words and then illustrate the story with a painting.  The most famous 6 word story was written by Ernest Hemingway.  "For sale: baby shoes.  Never worn."  Hemingway's story is poignant.  Baby shoes...never worn.  Such a sad tale.  

When deciding on a 6 word tale I started thinking about what would also be poignant.  I often turn to my life and what affected me.  As a child, a military brat, my siblings and I would count down days.  Days to the next duty station, days to the next holiday, days to any significant event.  Then I thought about who else would also count down...I can only imagine how many military members have counted down the days till they get to go home and see their loved ones.  It came to me.  Boots on the ground...counting days.  The days until the deployment is over and they can return home.  That was it...that was the story I would tell.  

I began by distressing the panel I was using.  I used some burnt umber and wiped it to look used.  Then I put lines...4 down and one diagonally across. A traditional counting tool I have seen used.  I used these lines to cover the background.  A visual depiction of counting days.  Painted the boots in the middle of the panel and put the lettering down on one side...down to the ground.  Counting days goes across the bottom and leads your eye off the panel.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rosie the Riveter

11 x 14
Oil on Raymar Panel

I attended a photo shoot in Lancaster County ,Pennsylvania that featured models dressed in 40's and 50's clothing reminiscent of "Rosie the Riveter".  Rosie was an iconic figure during the World Wars that showed women working in traditional male venues.  They worked on aircraft, automobiles, tanks, heavy equipment filling the void wherever needed.  Amazing women who help secure our freedom.

The shoot was great included models and lots of period props to include and old steam engine.  The shoot was set up by Lerro Productions.  I have hundreds of source photo and I use them for references for different scenarios...but this one was done just for fun. I love the look on her face.  I can see her looking for something "more."  I was working on skin tones and shapes.  When I work from photos like this I often use my own features to check planes of the head...I try to set up lighting to mimic the scene.   So if she kind of looks like a relative...that would be why.  When I can't have a model in my studio I am amazed at how creative I can get to try to learn as much as possible with my limited resources.