Now that it’s safe and sound in it’s new home in New England, I can show you my latest commission, which was a fun Revolutionary War ancestor portrait for my friend Patricia!
She came to me with the challenge to paint her many-times-over great grandfather, who joined the New York Militia in 1775. She wanted to show his as the strong, brave, and slightly cocky young man she imagined him to be just as he was leaving to fight the British from his rural New York home. She even researched the correct military uniform he would have worn, and I googled muskets (not my every day art research!) to give him the right Revolutionary look.
We also added some fun personal elements to the painting– it was Patricia’s husband (who happens to be British!) that suggested that we add Isaac’s sweetheart to the mix, so I have created “Dorcas”, the young woman he would marry when he came back to his home. We also added, just for fun, a dearly loved but departed family pet peeking over the fence railing– surely they had pet spaniels in the colonies, right? Well, they do in this particular painting!
Since the area that Isaac lived in was full of apple orchards, I added an apple tree and orchard behind, and a cluster of salt box style homes and some grazing sheep to represent the close knit rural community in which Isaac and Dorcas lived.
The color scheme for this painting sort of organically became patriotic– since Isaac’s uniform incorporated blue and white I felt like a good compliment for Dorcas would be a red dress, especially with the red apples in the trees. The little houses behind then also echoed that red, white and blue theme and voila– a bright and patriotic ode to a beloved ancestor and his contribution to his country is born!
And while this is my last commission for a bit while we get ready for our move– I am looking forward to more! I’m going to estimate that in about three weeks time I will be settled in and ready to start working on some projects. Honestly, I am already missing painting and wishing I was doing that instead of packing 😉 so I’m sure my studio will be one of the first rooms set up to work.
I’m just so excited about all the new things coming for this summer. We’re gonna have so much fun! And I can’t wait to get painting and start creating for the holidays! Honestly, I might go right on in to Halloween and some Christmas when I get things set up again. It’s never too early, right?
Hope you have a great weekend!~
10 thoughts on “Latest Commission- A Revolutionary Portrait”
Thank you Heather. I love this blog post (because it's about my painting!) Adding our little Max to the painting was sort of a silly idea but in the end it works so well and everyone who sees it immediately says \”Max!\” And no- it's never too early for Halloween…as you'll find out when you start accepting commissions again. My next one has a definite Halloween theme to it. 🙂
How exciting to see Patricia's commissioned work highlighted in your blog! And Max is winking…cute! I love it so much! Maybe one day I will do one….hmmm….must start thinking now!
I cant wait! I am in the mood to start painting some holiday stuff, for sure! I've also been thinking about witchy dolls 🙂 So glad Max is a hit!~
Thanks so much, Karen! I'd be happy to make a painting for you! Max actually only had one eye! So there will definitely never be another painting like this one 😀
I love it, I like what you have done for Patricia before but this one has to be my favourite
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Oh, Wow! This is a fabulous painting!!! I love the subject matter and all of the historical details . Patricia, this is an amazing treasure for your home. From this painting, I feel like I know the couple. The details feel so real and probable to me. Heather, you did your wonderful magic with the telling of this family story.! Ha! I love it that Patricia is also dreaming of fall and the Halloween here in early May. I can say from my end, that I am in support of setting up your studio first in the new house! Some of us can't wait to see what you come up with for next Fall.Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of art with us today.
Just catching up here 🙂 Love the painting Heather.Good luck with move x
Sorry, half that last sentence went missing, it should say with packing up for the move! Whenever we've moved I always find a ton of stuff I'd forgotten we owned!!
Fantastic paining – love the details of the picture and the inclusion of red accents in the picture gives it an extra wow factor. I love the way you manage to capture the atmosphere of those days from the past in line, shapes and colours. Great work!