What does a person do? We all have our own ways of coping...there are very few alive right now that have had an experience even close to what we are all now sharing.
I had a commission that I needed to start in late February - despite what I was seeing happening in China, and coming to our shores; which left a feeling of uncertainty with me. Its been a tough painting for me to work on...more so perhaps because I am a very "visual" person. I am not as gifted as some artists that have the ability to pull images out of their heads. I have attempted working from my memories in the past and it it pretty darn hard for me! I did manage one piece many years back...it was a memory of my summers on one of my grand parent's farms. And even with it, I did fudge the memory I had. But then aren't all our memories "colored" in some way? Our emotions do shape the way things are for each of us. I may have posted this before, but here is the one memory I speak of from my head many years ago.
oil painting - © Bruce A. Morrison
Where am I going with this? Well back to my latest commission...it is of a location and structure that I've never visited...the structure (an old 1830's grist mill) is no longer standing. The client did take a picture of it back about 35-40 years ago but the picture is very faded and does lack much of the information I'd like to lay a foundation with. I normally require visiting locations and doing a lot of first hand investigation...I have turned down many requests because of a lack of material to work with. I'd like it to be as authentic as possible so have dug and dug online as best I can and have come up with historic records and descriptions...even an old B&W photo of the "wrong side" of the structure...plus an old pencil drawing and a quite bad painting of the mill. I must say all give some clues I need but there are still many missing pieces to the puzzle. So I'm doing the best I can painting something I've never seen, while using bits and pieces of memories and my imagination. If the client is OK with it once I have it finished, maybe I'll post it down the line? Wish us both luck!
"Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Portrait"
color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison
As for more current projects completed in the past few weeks, here is another life size bird portrait. I've done Rose-breasted Grosbeaks before but needed to do another for someone, they are such beautiful birds! I've taken many studies of these birds through the years so had no trouble drawing this good looking male! Birds have always been an escape for me, much needed at times like these.
Spring is now here, and even though we still have some remnants of winter weather threatening to mess up our day occasionally, we can still start working outside...on the garden or any reason just to get some fresh air! We did some prairie pasture burns here yesterday and I gotta say we both sure did sleep good last night!
Forget March...put it behind you and enjoy any Blessings in the offing this Spring - large or small. Be safe out there and be good to one another.