This commissioned painting tells the story of a farm family. A usual Sunday afternoon included a stop at the fields to do a progress report on their cattle. This painting is rather complex because of the inclusion of so many pieces of nostalgia, in addition to the family itself. Clearly this piece, which is very popular, speaks directly to people who were brought up on a farm.
Set in the Needles area of North Dakota, the throb of the motorcycles echoes against the stone pillars. The exhilaration felt by these vacationers is evident as they experience the freedom felt by many Harley riders.
I am not a snob when it comes to subjects for paintings. I am interested in the human experience. An English art dealer said that my work is contemporary genre. I was intrigued when I was approached to do this six-person portrait, and perhaps I should say three-motorcycle portrait, of a trip these people took on their Harleys. I thought it a challenging subject and one that is very interesting given my experiences in Sturgis in 2002. I hope I conveyed the fun and excitement of the riders as well as my own.
This most interesting project sprang from a photo in a farm magazine. The commissioner of this work was so intrigued that he contacted the people involved on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and obtained many more photographs, after he actually travelled west to meet them. Custom paintings such as this present a challenge and I enjoy them immensely as I work with people to develop an idea.
This decorative piece was designed to fit an above-the-mantel space and is intended to present a view that could occur just outside the window of a cottage in Muskoka. It is somewhat unusual for me to create a painting that is not based on an actual place or places. In this case the entire painting is whimsical and is intended as a visual confection. Each commission presents an entirely new set of demands and I cherish the chance to tackle the concepts. I know many artists do not like commissions but I am not among their numbers.
This painting recalls a customers family history in a Victorian era re-creation. One grandfather had been a greengrocer, while the other had owned a bake shop. My task was to cobble together bits and pieces of Victoriana from family photos and archival material to compose a believable image.
This restored farmhouse near Sunfish Lake west of Waterloo has been featured in a magazine layout. In this view I avoided the new addition and showed the stone building with the pond and the owners dog.
The house is a hidden gem sitting quietly on the small hobby farm with trees obscuring the view from the road. The owner has done a great deal of work to make this house both attractive and practical. It takes a special kind of person to administer the love and attention that a property like this needs. But the rewards are great! I am always happy when I receive a call to paint just such a property. I know that such a person has a well-developed aesthetic sense.
See also Image #2862 Autumn Day at the Farm.