March 6, 2012

The Big Picture

12 x 12, oil on canvas

As soon as I spotted this darling little guy in a Nashville bookstore, all settled in with his big book, I knew I had to paint him. Over the years, that bookstore became a favorite lunch destination with friends, or a cozy spot to enjoy a cup of tea while browsing for books. Sadly, the bookstore has since gone out of business. But the good news is that the store's closing spurred author Anne Patchett to open up her own little independent bookstore: Parnassus Books, aptly named for Mount Parnassus, a haven for "literature, learning and music" in Greek mythology. Anne's charm and enthusiastic voice have made it a modern-day version of Nora Ephron's ode independent bookstores ("You've Got Mail").

"Never be so focused on the thing you're looking for,
that you overlook the thing you actually find"
Anne Patchett


Katherine Thomas said...

Oh, I love this! You did such a beautiful job. I'm curious when you said you spotted him in the store. Did you sneak a photo of him to take home and paint, or did you have to ask permission? I've often wanted to take pictures of people I don't even know to use for paintings, but I've been afraid to. It's a wonderful painting!

FCP said...

Katherine, I take photos of people all the time, wherever I am. And yes I try to be discreet and not disturb them, but I rarely ask permission, because I have learned if I do, they get self-conscious, and you lose the natural pose you were looking for in the first place. Some artists carry their business cards with them and hand them out to parents when they ask to photograph children. But, I have had this conversation with Kim English over the years because every workshop I have taken with him, he takes hundreds of photos of people every hour of the day, and he never asks permission, says no one ever confronts him. If you fear having your subject identified, you can always change something about them like their hair color. But what I have learned from Kim is that he is not ever looking at a specific person anyway, just comparing light against dark, and how the figure ties into the surroundings, which is why the "best" poses are always the ones models take when they are on break!
Happy painting!

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Oh my goodness ... I love this. Everything about it is so appealing. I love how you have captured this little boys concentration. I love the bench also. Lots of brush strokes tell me its loved by many. This one goes to the top of my list of favorites.

Debi Murray said...

Katherine asked just the same question I was about to ask when I had to go out of town for a few days. Thank you for that! Lovely painting - as always, well done, Faye :)

Natalie ☀ said...

so sweet. i really love this.