I like to work from my photographs and also to visit the location for the artwork so that I can get a feel for the place and sketch out composition ideas to complement the photos. On a sunny Saturday I drove over to the Brookman's and the fun began!
Nick and Freya had thought long and hard about the picture that they wanted and had come up with a really interesting list that we discussed over a cup of tea:
- three images of them dancing
- canalside location
- willow trees
- map of Regents Park Open Air Theatre
- map of Spittlefields Market
- map of the Everyman Cinema in Hampstead
- lyrics from songs by Pink Martini
- words from a poem read out at their wedding
- two corduroy dogs
- colourful quilt handmade by Freya
- 'happiness' tube sign
- images of the Brookman's home
A well thought out imagery list really helps to define the brief and enables a truly personal story to be told in the finished work - and this list was an absolute treat to work to!
We headed out down to the canal and I took lots of photos and did some sketches. I provided the Brookman's with six composition ideas and once the favourite was chosen I got busy playing with my paper, scissors and glue.
Some of the elements on the picture were very fiddly to produce - such as the railings, but by the end I was really happy with the result and that I managed to incorporate all bar the last element on the list.
And the best news - Nick was just delighted with the finished work too!
The chosen composition:
Nick and Freya dancing on my studio (kitchen) table:
Constructing the extremely fiddly railings - the willow branches in the background are the colours of Freya's handmade quilt rather than the natural green:
The corduroy dogs waiting to find a home on the picture:
Starting to put all the elements together:
Nick and his finished picture ready to mount and frame.