Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Different Kind of Portrait


Come December, despite the sensory overload of holiday lights, music, food and good will to all mankind, something like a lowly piece of fruit sitting alone on the table can reach deeply into one's psyche. The simplicity, the brilliance of a clementine reached mine.

It started innocently enough. I was hungry. I grabbed a piece of fruit, got half way through peeling it when something distracted me. I came back to see this lovely thing begging to be acknowledged. Vulnerable, half exposed, cradled by its shell. A photo snapped before it was devoured. The result:

Sunbathing Clementine © Lissa Banks 2014
The first gave me a taste for more. And the more I worked with the subject the more I found myself imbuing them with human traits. They were alternatively straightforward and welcoming...

Miss Clementine © Lissa Banks 2014
...generous and kind...

Open Hand © Lissa Banks 2015

...seductive and secretive...
Temptress © Lissa Banks 2015

...and jealous.

Gossip © Lissa Banks 2015
Yes, I was a bit anthropomorphic I admit. But they seemed to have personalities in their little bumps and dimples, blemishes and brightness. They became my companions and when I finished one I rushed to start another. I might keep going as they are imminently enjoyable. That is, if I don't polish off my subject matter before their season ends.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Best Husband

Christmas in June

When we were finalizing the new front yard landscaping plans he surprised me by asking if I ever did commissions. I said I did. He had an idea.

His wife was extraordinarily proud of the entrance to their nursery and greenhouses, and proud she should be...zinnias, catmint, marigolds, salvia, black-eyed Susans and more burst from the ground in an amazing array. People stop their cars on the side of the road to take pictures. I suspect Mr. Walsh was proud of the display as well. He asked me to capture it in a painting to surprise his wife with for Christmas. I think it was June.
Walsh's Greenhouse ©  Lissa Banks 2014
I have but limited experience with husbands of my own but my impression is that they seldom start shopping for the holidays in the summer!

Now that Christmas 2014 is beginning to fade into our memories (though probably still present around our waists), I'm happy to be able to share Jerry's gift to his wife with you. What a pleasure it was to be able to be a part of his thoughtfulness and devotion.