Monday, November 5, 2012

Ninety-Three in the Shade

A couple of years ago, Keith and I visited the Coupeville Arts & Crafts Festival on Whidbey Island. It was mid August and the Puget Sound area was experiencing a heat wave. A bike ride on a breezy little island sounded like a good way to escape the heat, so we thought. Well, we didn't exactly escape the heat, which was close to triple digits! It was a little too hot to ride our bikes, so we slowly walked through the quaint town of Coupeville, trying to find a shady spot to rest. I spotted someone's sun-baked front porch with potted petunias exploding with color. I snapped a photo of it since I find front porches to be pretty much irresistible!

Ninety-Three in the Shade, 7.5" x 7.5" Colored Pencil

What was it about this porch that grabbed my attention so much? I liked the horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines going every which-way, softened with the rounded flower shapes. I also loved the old-fashioned appeal of the scene with the antique doorknob, scalloped window shade and the perky petunias. 

To make the colors pop, I tweaked them a bit so that they are more intense and cooler than in the original photo. I really wanted to intensify the feeling of heat, while maintaining the cool color palette especially in the shady areas. A square format makes this piece a bit different, but it helps to zero in on the porch elements.

I find front porches to be intriguing as I'm wondering who lives there, and wondering what the little house looks like behind those curtains. What are the people inside doing to keep cool on such a hot day? Okay, maybe I'm just nosy. But a charming front porch tells a story about the person who lives inside the house. Hopefully my painting makes you stop for just a moment to appreciate the common, everyday sights that are all around us, and the people who are connected with them.