Thursday, June 11, 2009

A new painting commission - Burden County Fair 1940.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by a local follower of my artwork with a request to undertake a commission painting. He told me that he had been brought up in Kansas and wanted to capture his memories as a young boy attending a local County Fair.

He was specific as to the location and many of the things he wanted to see: the horse race track, the Ferris wheel, the grandstand, and many details of the fairground midway. Plus, the time was to be set at about 1940. After some more discussion, I requested that he prepare a sketch "map" of the fair layout, which we both agreed would the basis for the final painting.

Upon looking at the quite detailed map he presented, we decided on a viewpoint that showed the required activities and objects. With all this in mind, I prepared an intial thumbnail sketch to futher pin down the painting. From this we agreed on the aspect ratio and the size of the final painting (so that it would fit his available hanging space). Also, the sketch allowed me to correct details where my own interpretations did not agree with his memories.

He had already done quite a bit or research. He had some photographs, and prints from Google Images of specific objects, events, and scenes from that period. As I started painting, I have augmented these images with many others from my own research.

There will be many figures in the final painting which raises many supplementary questions: What were the woman's dress styles and length from that period? What kind of head gear did men and boys wear? What do Kansas skys look like in the summer? What did older Cars and Trucks look like at that time? What was racing regalia like then for both horses and riders? And so it goes on.

I have got about half way through the initial layout. I have been sending him digital photographs of the work as it progresses. Soon I will have him over to my studio to see where I have deviated from his memory. I love big crowd paintings. The project is both challenging and enjoyable.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are appreciated: