Last year at the Fall Foliage Festival I got a request for a custom painting. Because I try not push my work on anyone, I said sure and asked them to email their dimensions and some color do’s and don’ts. Then I left it alone and waited.
That particular festival takes place in early October. When I was home for the holidays, the project was brought up again and the client was kinda like “What the hell man? Where’s my painting?” I laughed. And she told me that if I didn’t do it, she had someone else in mind. Those are tough words to hear from your little sister. So I took out her tape measure, a pad and pencil and got her specs. She wanted me to paint the majestic state of Virginia in blues, greens, oranges and browns. Everything else was up to me (a perfect client).
After restocking my supply of duck canvas and stretchers, I built out the canvas to her dimensions (46″x30″) and then I started in on the under painting by adding layers of washes.
I spent a lot of time sketching out Virginia, trying to capture its nooks and crannies without leaving off any part of my beloved home state, but ultimately I decided to round it off a bit and make it a little softer. My family lives in Central Virginia at the base of Afton Mountain, which I highlighted in a pigment mist. I dig the end product and think the scale in relation to the state is great.
Last week I gave her the finished painting and she and her husband loved it. I am very proud to be a Virginia boy and I hope that this painting comes across that way. Thanks again to my little sister for love and for getting my butt painting… because if I don’t someone else will.