Tuesday, December 6, 2011

University Club

This commission for Vern King came to me by way "That Frame Place" in Brea, where I have sent clients for frame work since 1971. Vern saw that the sailor and young lady in this Norman Rockwell piece reminded him of his son and daughter-in-law, and decided to have an original oil painting made rather than buy a store bought print. This allowed him to personalize the piece, changing the Taxi to a Studebaker convertible, add himself in there and make the whole thing square rather than slightly portrait. We wrote up a contract that eliminated any confusion of this trying to be a forgery of the original Rockwell painting and proceeded. Vern supplied the photos that were needed and I got a poster of the original painting to work from. I was amazed to see Rockwell used a pretty rough unrelated texture to the whole thing. It looked as though he roughed up the gesso before he started, probably to paint the rock texture faster while working under a deadline. When looking carefully I could even see this texture in the surfaces that were supposed to be smooth, like the sidewalk, glass and the car. So I did all that too, trying to be faithful to the original and it really helps tie everything together. Too much texture would be a distraction, but he really had the touch. I learned a lot from this piece and thank Vern for the opportunity to create this new family heirloom.