Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mother and Son

A few weeks ago a woman contacted me after taking a painting home from the gallery to try out in her home. The painting ended up being too big for the space so she returned it to the gallery and asked me to paint something smaller with the same Hadley cups featured. Her husband's mother had collected Hadley and they wanted something to remember her by. She asked that I just paint a cup or two to give as a Christmas present.
I thought it would be interesting to make a story out of it, to do a diptych of a mother and son having an afternoon drink. The mother having tea or coffee, the son having milk and playing with his truck.
Mother and Son, each panel 8"x6", oil on linen, © 2015 Richard Luschek
I decided to have the truck in both scenes and in different positions, as we all know if a boy has a truck he's gonna drive it through your space.

I thought I'd show a few stages of the lay-in process as I only had a few days to paint this to have it ready in time for Christmas.
Day 1
This was probably just done in a few hours to get the canvases covered. I wanted it to be dry the next day so I painted thinly and stored it near the furnace exhaust pipe in my studio to cook it dry.
Day 2
The week before Christmas was very cloudy and grim. So at times it was too dark to paint. I tried to just concentrate on drawing during those dark times. You can see things are starting to come into focus. For details I tend to continually paint them out and rework the area. Here you can see I got rid of the design on the right cup to work the form more.
I also added some milk to the boys cup.
Day 4
I tried to focus on the boys panel so I didn't have to keep moving the truck back and forth.

I flipped the panels on the easel so I could focus on the mother side of things. I added tea to the cup and changed the tea label from red to green. The label was actually green as it is Irish Breakfast blend, but I  initially thought it would look better red. I decided it was too much and changed it to green.

They were picked up a few days before Christmas. She seemed very happy with the paintings. They were still a bit wet as was still painting when she came to pick them up.
I had joked about drinking the milk when I was finished to celebrate, but did not look to appetizing after sitting in the studio for a few days- it was more cheese than milk at this point. Instead I went for a beer on the way home.

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