George on a Windy Day 18 x 24 Oil on Linen
I used a very old photograph for this painting. It was probably taken around 1977 or 1978. George is at the helm of Endymion I our beautiful wooden Samurai Sloop that was designed for the rough New England waters by the firm of Eldridge-McInnis. We bought this boat in Edgartown and it had partially sunk at her mooring and so we got it cheap. We sailed it from Martha's Vineyard to Mystic and didn't know if it would sink again, or if the engine had really been fixed. It was quite a nail biting adventure and we were nervous about it, to the point of asking a sea-going friend to help us bring her to his shipyard where we spent an incredible number of hours and tons of money fixing her up.
This was shot (probably by George) of the boat at the Edgartown Marina dock, ready for us to get underway. I am leaning over looking at the cockpit, and our friends who drove us to Martha's Vineyard are standing behind me. We had many glorious times aboard this dear boat of ours and it was so magical we decided to sell everything, and buy a new Endymion that became our home for about 8 years.
The original photograph of George is very out of focus, and probably taken while the boat was pitching up and down. I did some serious photo editing to bring it into better focus, and I put in a more interesting sky that I found in my files.
I used to do many portraits but after we moved to Florida, and the economy got so terrible the market for portraits diminished to nothing, and I didn't do many, especially in oil paint. I wanted to get back into it, and decided to teach a class in portrait painting, but didn't have any that I could use as proof to show my class that I could do it! So I got busy with this effort of George and I used it as an example of using photo editing to enhance the portrait painting experience.
As a frustrated English Major I can't help myself from writing, and so I have a number of booklets and monographs, self-published, that I use in my classes with the hope that those few who actually read them will benefit from the step by step instructions I give. Should you want to see the booklet that I give to the Portrait Painting with Help class using the painting of George as the demonstration you can go to my website here. The booklet is the last one in the list, so you will have to scroll down.