Monday, May 13, 2013

The Sun Always Rises

This weekend was the installation of my largest painting yet -- an 8-1/2 x 3 ft commission. I'm honored to have been chosen to create this masterpiece, and grateful for the people who helped make it happen.

This painting is of one of the largest working freighters on the Great Lakes - The Lee Tregurtha. My clients told me the story of their adventure taking a cruise on this ship. I will never look at a freighter again without wondering if it is as tastefully appointed as this one. Their photos of the interior showed red velvet, brass, and leather, and a master chef on board. This was no ordinary cruise -- no casino or swimming pool on board -- but plenty of walking room and lots to see along the way. The two smaller boats in the painting are my client's 40-ft cabin cruiser and a sailboat he once owned.

I painted this over the course of about 3-4 months, in 5 or 6 layers. The first layer was a wash of color to indicate where everything would be placed. My set-up in my studio was two large easels supporting this massive custom-made canvas. Standard stretcher bars and lengths of wood only go to 8 feet long. This painting, at 8-1/2 feet, needed an expert to create a frame strong and supported well enough to keep the center from warping. The fine linen canvas covering it had to be re-stretched a couple of times to make it tight and smooth.

Once the initial layer was dry, I sketched and re-sketched the sun and boats to be sure of accurate size and placement.

Another layer or two of paint was added, and then the process of filling in the detail. I didn't want to start this step until I knew I had 3 straight days of nothing to do but focus on this painting.

When it was done, the painting had to dry for about 2 months to be sure the thickness of the paint was cured enough to be able to transport it without damaging it.

I thank God every day for the gifts I have been given, and give glory to His works!


Fran Short said...

This is really beautiful and I am sure it will be the focal point of their home. Well done!

Kathleen Eaton said...

Thank you, Fran. It was truly a privilege to be able to do this. Their home is beautiful, and full of wonderful art. I'm honored to be included!