My husband and I had the pleasure of attending a concert over the summer that really turned into a very special evening. Besides enjoying meaningful time together, a glass of wine, and great music; it also became a wonderful opportunity to become acquainted with two very talented musicians. During the course of the evening I knew I wanted to try to capture the beauty, warmth, and mood of the setting with my paints. I snapped a few photos to aid me in recreating what was happening around me and the powerful voices of the piano and the soprano. I hope you enjoy this blog as it progresses; please feel free to comment at any point.
The setting is a charming music venue called White Horse (http://www.whitehorseblackmountain.com/p/about-us.html) Black Mountain, NC. As we entered the premises, our eyes were drawn to the small candlelit tables set up in front of the stage, a wine bar and a cozy arrangement of couches on the far end, and several unique pieces of artwork throughout. We were soon carried away by the lovely strains of “June,” and “My Lady’s Garden,” composed by Roger quilter; and “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” by Samuel Barber; ending with songs by Cole Porter and George Gershwin all expertly performed by Daniel Weiser on piano and soprano Amanda Horton.
Before I share the first of several progression photos of the painting, it’s my privilege to share a little background information on the artists in the painting:
Daniel Weiser, piano, has a Doctorate in Piano/Chamber Music from the
Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Samuel Sanders and Robert
MacDonald and won the Richard Franko Goldman prize for outstanding
contribution to musical and education life. He has performed on many
great stages, including the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, the
National Gallery of Art in D.C., and on the Dame Myra Hess Concert
Series in Chicago. He has also concertized around the world, including
Israel, Thailand, Holland, and France and was the 1996 U.S. Artistic
Ambassador Abroad, for which he performed on an eleven-country tour of
the Middle East and Asia. He has been on the music faculty of Dartmouth
College and the prestigious St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH.
Besides founding AmiciMusic, he co-founded and still serves as Artistic
Director for Classicopia, a similar type of chamber music organization
based in New Hampshire. He was also a founding member of the Adirondack
Ensemble, which won a Chamber Music America award for inventive
programming and outreach. He has participated in the New Hampshire Music
Festival, Musicorda, and the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival and has
been the Music Director of the Da Corneta Opera Ensemble, the Opera North
Young Artist program, and Opera New England. A phi beta kappa graduate of
Columbia University with a degree in American History, he also spent a
year at Harvard Law School and was a classmate of President Obama. A
native of Buffalo, NY, he recently moved from Asheville to Baltimore,
where he lives with his wife, Dr. Kisha Weiser and their seven-year old
twin daughters, Emma and Sophie.
For more information and upcoming schedules visit:
Amanda Horton is a frequent performer with Dr. Weiser. She possesses strong, vocal talent and her lovely soprano voice gracefully moves the listeners along the musical journey. I hope to have more information to share about her in the days to come.
My hope is to portray not only the ambiance of the evening, but also the essence of the richly satisfying and profoundly pleasing performance from this duo of the songs of summer.. in fact, maybe that will be the name of this painting..
Songs of Summer
This is the beginning of the layering process. In the coming weeks I’ll be refining the figures and making needed adjustments. I’m anticipating 2-3 months to completion. This is a 30 X 40″ canvas using oils. More pictures in the weeks to come! Enjoy the journey with me! Comments welcome!
After looking at these photos, I’ve decided to highlight the hair on Dr. Weiser’s head so it doesn’t look flat, soften the highlights on his face and brow, and stagger his legs by bringing the farther one in. Both are on the pedals here, and changing it may add more movement to the painting. For Amanda, I plan to do some finishing touches on her dress, adjust hip bone placement, smooth skin tone, and finish hair, belt and bracelet. Did I really say the end of the year?
The following is an update, but not the finished painting..
The lighting was not great in this picture, but you can see some of the changes I’ve made. I’m in the home stretch! Doing some final touches- skin tone, shoes, I will darken the slacks, and do a little more with the grand..
A few months later..
It is June 2014 and I am still touching up areas of this painting. I have benefitted from putting it up for a while then working on it for a day or two. I didn’t realize how this would challenge me! Did I mention I am looking at 4 photos I took that evening, and trying to put them together- not to mention the lighting and figure changes in each one. Urggglelelel….. sigh. Just to give you an idea of where I’m at on this. I am wanting this to sing off the page when I’m done.. check back in a couple months.. ha ha!
A YEAR later!
It’s July 2015 and I’m just now getting back to this painting. I’ve had a lot of custom orders to do over the last year that has kept me quite busy (check my facebook page-Holder Fine Art Studio Facebook). It feels great to be back working on this and seeing progress. Kind of like getting together again with an old friend you hadn’t seen for awhile. I will post a picture when it’s finished.