"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Day to Remember.

By James Swanson / Traveler Chrissy
16"x 20" Oil on canvas
Watch the journey of this painting here

The Artist and the Traveler Project has seen and painted some beautiful views from this planet, now comes a view from the heart.

Traveler Chrissy( Dark shirt), her fiance and wedding couple Jay and Chelsea 
Recently this project was contacted by our next Traveler Chrissy with a big request. Chrissy wanted to have a painting done for some very special friends of theirs who were recently married in the Adirondacks.
View of the summer camp.
Chrissy Story: We were in South Hero, VT over Labor Day weekend for a very special wedding. Our friends, Jay and Chelsea were getting married at a summer camp they rented out on an island on Lake Champlain
 Lake Champlain
 It was an extremely special wedding for my fiance and I because the the bride and groom are both such good friends to us and we were both in the wedding party!  The weekend was wonderful- filled with activities like touch football and kickball or more relaxing activities like yoga and arts and crafts.  The location was picturesque- we were surrounded by woods in a secluded place on the cliffs looking over the water.  There were sailboats in the water and mountains in the distance.
Some of the tents that they slept in.
 We stayed in one-room cabins or platform tents, ate meals (besides the wedding meals) as a group in the mess hall, and showered in out-house type rooms.  It brought everyone back to their childhood and we were all so thrilled for Jay and Chelsea. It couldn't have been a more perfect weekend for a more perfect couple.

"Cliffside" was the name of Jay and Chelsea's cabin.  This cabin was tucked in a corner, behind the trees, on the cliff, facing the water.  As I walked up to it floored the first time, I was awed by the simple beauty of the trees, water, and decor surrounding their quaint love shack. In front of the cabin was a bench that looked onto the water. The only thing that prevented a thirty foot plummet down the cliff into the water was a rustic wooden fence that bore the name "Cliffside."  We knew we wanted to do something unique and special for their wedding gift and as soon as I saw their cabin location, I started taking photos.  With the help of James, the painting is a re-creation of the most magical, wonderful, and fitting weekend for our special friends: Jay and Chelsea.

The Traveler Painting "Cliffside"

These are the photos Chrissy sent to work with.
I liked the top left photo for the cabin, the right one for the water,
 the bottom left for the milk carton and clothes line, and the railing from the last one.

The Artist and the Traveler has painted a lot of requests before, but Traveler Chrissy's idea for a wedding present is a first for this project and I am honored to paint it for her. On to the steps of "Cliffside":
The Painting design is sketch on canvas first. The tough thing about this painting will be making the verticals work and keep interesting. Their shadows should help with that. 
The dark values are painted in first. This is how I start almost every painting.
 It's a great way to get the structure for the painting down.
Mid tones are painted in next. That is the grass and trees mostly.

The painting is blocked-in now that the water and sky have been added. 
Time to start making adjustments.

Starting to work on defining the rail. I took my time and scraped and painted 
the words in with my palette knife.

Clothes line and milk carton are now in. I also added two clothes pins. 
Now for a few more changes and it should be there.

Done, I felt after putting in the milk carton that it drew too much attention away from the cabin. So I toned it down and added a few leaves to push it back. I also worked on the ground. It needed the path to be windier and the tree shadows a bit more cleaner.
 Details from the Painting.
Framed and ready for delivery.

By James Swanson / Traveler Chrissy
16"x 20" Oil on canvas
Painting a request or commission is a little different to paint than normal paintings. When you are painting, you kind of have this feeling that you are being watched, and in the back of your mind you know this painting is already sold and must be perfect to you and those watching behind you.
My thanks goes out to our Traveler Chrissy for searching me out for this painting and all of her photos and story. I hope Jay and Chelsea like it. And best wishes to you and your Fiance on your up coming nuptials!
The Artist and the Traveler project is always open to new places and stories. If you have one that you would like to tell you can contact me here or at the website www.theartistandthetraveler.org
Until next, Happy Trails to you and yours!

1 comment:

  1. Jay and Chelsea here - This is the most amazing, personal gift we have ever received! Thank you so much for working with our incredible friends, Chrissy, Chip, Molly, Kevin, and Tim. We can't wait to see it in person!


Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.