I posted thispainting in the WetCanvas Portrait forum and got some outstanding C&C (Comments & Critique). When I make some of the suggested changes I'll post the newer version with this old one side-by-side. Here's the link to the forum if you'd like to see the C&C.
Over on his blog Red Tree Times artist Gary Myers has a short entry about a diner in Horseheads. This is, I believe, the diner setting for a great little story friends told me. In fact I like the story so much I'm going to steal it.
First off my friends moved here a few years ago. She was an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design, and he moved here after being hired by Corning Inc. Gretchen is an artist and Ron a very accomplished amateur photographer. They both have a very strong interest in the arts, hitting openings on a regular basis and show their own work locally.
One Sunday morning, shortly after moving here, they decided to try a diner in Horseheads, NY recommended by a friend.
The way they tell the story it was a leisurely breakfast reading the New York Times. After a while Gretchen pulled out her sketchpad and started drawing. The waitress came up and asked them if they wanted refills on their coffee, and she noticed Gretchen's sketchpad.
"Are you an artist?", she asked. Gretchen told her she was and that her husband was a photographer.
"That's so cool...you know my great-uncle is an artist," the waitress said.
To be polite Gretchen asked about the artist uncle. She imagined he was a retired art teacher (at best), or perhaps a senior citizen who painted as an enjoyable hobby. She wasn't expecting the answer she got.
"That's nice,"Gretchen said. "What does he paint?"
"Mostly landscapes and sometimes people, but he's really, really old now."
"What's your Uncle's name?"
True Story, though I haven't gone to the diner and asked about Andrew Wyeth's niece/ waitress, though every time I pass the diner it crosses my mind.
Here's the link to Gary Myers' blog entry on the diner.
In many ways I think like a photographer. The image itself is becoming more and more important to me; the actual application of paint less and less. Blasphemy in some painterly circles.
I choose to paint figures and portraits because I consider them the most difficult subject.