There is something bewitching about New Orleans. Something quite old and there is a sense that things don’t really change.
Amid concept sketching for this painting, I looked through countless front porch images from New Orleans. Some new and some old. What I began to decipher is that I could barely tell the different between the present day images and the old images- beyond photographic quality.
I struggled a lot to find the right porch and the right perspective for this piece. I did several drafts— adding in my own elements and others from other photographs. I had a photoshop document open on this one with three different photos merged. Ultimately, you’ll see I settled mostly for the perspective Shen in this early 1900 photography taken above- with some slight alterations.
I knew I wanted to paint a porch. There is something so southern about a porch overlooking the world beyond. I wanted to capture the heat and humidity that always lingers. I think in deep southern culture there is always a sense that you’re being watched by others, or watching others yourself. I liked that concept taking form in a porch.
This calendar’s artwork was a divergence from my very precise work of the 2018 calendar. I strove to capture things more loosely. Below is a first draft of June’s illustration. It is looser than any of the other paintings in the calendar- especially January, March, and May. This piece just felt too different, too loose. Looking back now, I quite like it for the reflection on the aqua ceiling, and may have kept it after all if I hadn’t been in a rush to complete the calendar.
I find Southern culture so easily grasped and articulated by Tennessee Williams through his sentiment that “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
There’s a lot in that phrase, but ultimately I find it to be hopeful and trusting in the world around you and I like that idea and I want to propel that beliefs in others; if only to inspire people to be what good they are believed to be by others.
I have always loved Child Hassam’s American Flag paintings. I would be hardpressed to find a painting of an American flag that I didn’t like.
The many flags in his paintings inspired me to add several to the perspective and painting that finally wound up in the desk calendar.
I hope you enjoyed hearing a little bit about the behind the scenes of creating June’s Painting.