Thursday, February 7, 2008

"Good Company"

I have been working on a large painting and a small painting, but they are not finished yet. I'm not feeling gutsy enough to post a work in progress today, so I would like to share this one that I painted last spring.

"Good Company", 30" x 24" oil on canvas, 2007
Private Collection

This woman sits in front of the church every day crocheting. Her cat often joins her. There is a special energy about this place that I can't really describe with words. I think the peacefulness of the place comes across in this painting.
I have included a few detail images. You can get a good feel for the original if you click on them to enlarge.

Detail "Good Company"

Detail 2 "Good Company"

I wanted to try the same scene with a little more of the architecture of the church. This one gives more of a sense of the location. "Good Company" is more about the woman and her companion.
"Good Company" has found the home where it was meant to be. "Sitting by the Church" is available at my gallery in San Miguel.

"Sitting by the Church", 18" x 14" oil on linen, 2007
Private Collection


Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

as soon as i saw this painting i knew she was crocheting or knitting and immediately it reminded me of my grandmother (tear in my eye). a very intimate painting with wonderful brushstrokes in both the surrounding architecture and the woman. i particularly like the bold colors on her clothing and how it makes her jump from the painting, gives a sense of purpose and importance to her.

i found that in the second painting, she no longer has that sense of importance, her purpose seems to give scale to the architecture and i find that my eye does not linger on her as in the first. the architecture is stunning.

both beautiful paintings for different reasons, but the first one touched my heart.

Unknown said...

The full compostion is just wonderful, I love the sense of scale. I love the quality of her face.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Both detail images could be stand alone paintings! Love the "color pop" against the pastel surroundings/background.

Frank Gardner said...

Christine, I am glad that it touched you in that way. The woman is definitely the focus of the "Good Company" panting. Her and her cat at least.
You are right about the second painting too. She works for the sense of the scale as well as a little narrative device.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Eric, thanks. Speaking of quality of faces, I can't get over your little profile drawing. There is a lot of character in THAT face. I need an image for my profile I think.

Frank Gardner said...

I agree Jennifer, One of the things I love about showing "details" is that I can crop little paintings out of the larger ones.

Mike said...

This painting is a real lesson for beginning painters . . .and advanced painters, too! It shows in so many ways the elegance of simplicity and how avoiding crunching the details keeps a painting fresh and tantalizing while leaving a bit of mystery or ambiguity. Those brush strokes in cat and in her make this painting amazing! I should have this on my studio wall as a reminder! Great stuff, Frank!!

Dean H. said...

Hi, Frank...I have to wholeheartedly agree with the previous comments. Love the fresh brushwork and the warm undercoating peeking through.


Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Mike! I especially like the cat myself. They are simple strokes, but well thought out, like a Sargent.
I went with the simple silhouette on the womans face too, I think her glasses are what make it read well.
Glad you like it!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Dean, thanks for your comment. I intentionally left a lot of the warm undercoat showing. The painting has a lot of "cool" colors. If the undercoat was gone it would look too "cool" don't you think?

Elizabeth said...

A wonderful painting for all sorts of reasons
the subject matter
the light
your skill
the air of tranquility

very lovely altogether
My husband and I both fell about laughing about the Dr.Pepper story.
Mexico and Morocco seem to have a lot in common.
I have added you to my blog roll.
Hope that's OK with you?

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Elizabeth, I'm glad you liked that story. I thought that it was pretty funny, and think of it often when I read some of the stories on your blog.
Dr. Pepper has now caught on here and easy to find.
The strange thing is that I understand his way of thinking about it. Maybe that is what happened to the Whiskas.
Very kind of you to add me to your blog roll, I have done the same.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Since it's been said already, This is Sargent-esque. Reminds me of the Ambergris painting.
The detail could be a completely separate painting.
BTW, thanks for your comment on my bicycle painting. I was hoping you'd come by to give an opinion.

Frank Gardner said...

Mary, "Fumée d'Ambre Gris" is one of my favorites. I am not worthy of that, but thanks. It will make me try even harder.
I'm happy to visit your blog.

Ambera said...

What a beautiful, touching painting. I don't know this woman, but I feel as though I do, and I can practically imagine sitting on the steps and seeing her and her cat first hand. This is one of your most intimate, despite being slightly removed from the subject, the atmosphere is palpable. Truly a wonderful painting Frank. You're hot stuff!!!

Frank Gardner said...

That made my morning. Thanks Ambera.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

so lovely. And that cat!

Frank Gardner said...

Maryam, the cat was my favorite part.
Thanks for stopping by.
I love reading your blog.