Wednesday, January 22, 2014

7th PA Cavalry commission piece

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

Price of Freedom Diorama at Gettysburg College Library

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.