Friday, April 25, 2014
A regular customer of mine from Mechanicsburg, PA, David Gabel, is an avid and skilled photographer who spends a great deal of time capturing "just the right shot" of reenactors at Civil War gatherings. He wanted to give the images more of a period-correct look and asked me to do renderings for him. These are all 5" x 7" graphite and colored pencil drawings on Claybord. The reenactors all gave their permission to use their images but only for David's own personal collection, so these cannot be reproduced for sale but I wanted to share them with you here.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Another interesting commission piece I did in the latter portion of 2013 was this monochrome drawing (French gray dolored pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes paper) featuring a portion of the bronze monument to the 7th PA Cavalry located at Chickamauga National Battlefield in Georgia. This piece was commissioned by Larry Fryer of Woodstock, MD, and also includes an inset portrait of his ancestor, Isaac Marks, who served in Co. I of the 7th PA Cavalry. While I've done numerous commissioned portraits over the years, and even portions of three-dimensional monuments, I'd never tried to capture the raised surface of a bronze relief panel as seen here. I discovered that the key was in precisely rendering the varying depths and crispness of the shadows and highlights. It really gave me a thorough appreciation of the skill level of the original sculptor!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
My other BIG commission for last year:
In the late summer/early fall I was contacted by a client of mine from California; his son attends Gettysburg College and my client is a frequent donor to the school. He had the idea of creating a diorama which would become a permanent installation in the college library, depicting the college campus in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, focusing on "Old Dorm" and the surrounding grounds which became -- like so many other places -- a hospital. My client hired an excellent diorama builder from Maryland, Don Griffin, to do the work. It was decided that they would close one end of the diorama -- the end behind the recreation of "Old Dorm" -- and needed a backdrop of the sky and surrounding landscape. In addition, they wanted the reverse side of that panel to contain a montage of significant players in that event, members of the college community, nurses, etc. My client hired me to produce both of these panels -- "30 x 52" each -- to be completed in time for installation and unveiling to coincide with Dedication day events (week of November 19).
Below is the finished montage panel, along with two close-up views of the diorama itself, prior to the installation with the acrylic cover, and two more photos that show the back and front views (front view also shows my scenic backdrop panel) of the diorama as it now appears, located just inside the main entrance to Musselman Library on the Gettysburg College campus.
While I truly believe Mr. Griffin's diorama is by far the "star" of this installation, I was honored and thrilled to be asked to play a role and have my name on the plaque along with his, as co-creator.
Monday, December 30, 2013
This has really been a year of commissions, for me! Now, for my interests, this is a good thing, of course. But it can also mean that I'm not at liberty to post what I'm working on. Since this particular piece had its unveiling in late September, however, now I'm free to post it. This is a painting -- approximately 20" x 28", commissioned by the James Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio. They had always wanted a painting representing General Garfield's service at the Battle of Chickamauga (GA) during the Civil War -- most people think of Garfield as a president but aren't particularly aware that he was a general during that war. This was a challenge for me in many ways, because I don't generally paint battle scenes, per se; I tend to focus more on the "behind the scenes" people and events of the Civil War. Scott Longert, a ranger at the GNHS, did the bulk of the research for me, however, and served as my constant consultant as the development sketches and then the painting itself progressed. It is now on permanent display at their visitor center, and they have two different sizes of prints for sale. I was very pleased to be selected to create this piece for them!
Friday, July 26, 2013
This has been a year of commissions, which is of course a wonderful thing. But it often means I'm not at liberty to post what I'm working on. Since I finally had a chance to get back to one of my own pieces, I thought I'd take this opportunity to post it. The complete title is Walt Whitman: American Poet and Civil War Nurse. It includes two images of Whitman -- the small one is the last photo taken of him before his death -- and two hospital scenes: a field hospital and the interior of one of the many Civil War hospitals in Washington City, likely visited by Whitman during his time as a nurse. In addition to the original art, 11" x 14" limited edition prints are available for purchase.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Many thanks to Karen Hendricks of Hendricks Communications for her fine article about my work on the Handmade in PA blog! Check out this link to the article:
Sunday, June 16, 2013
This past Thursday, June 13, was the annual One-Day Painting Giveaway at my Gettysburg gallery. I start a small painting at 10 am, work till 5 pm and every guest is invited to enter his or her name in a drawing to win the painting at the end of the day. I advertised that I would be painting an iconic Gettysburg scene in honor of the 150th anniversary, so I chose an 1863 photo of the gatehouse at Evergreen Cemetery to use as the basis for my painting. I was able to include here a few photographs of the various steps of this painting, rendered with Neocolor II watersoluble wax pastels and Inktense watercolor pencils, as well as the finished product along with the photo used as the basis for this painting. A couple from Canada were the winners of this painting and seemed to be quite pleased!