|Ellefson 60th Birthday Party 2016, 30 x 40 in. oil on canvas, by Sam Day|
The story of this painting is familiar, too. Family wants to remember milestone event, hires event painter to create heirloom.
The wife of the birthday boy had an idea of where she wanted the painting to hang in the den, in their waterfront home on Mercer Island, where the party was held. So I showed up early with three different sized canvases, and we tried them out on the mantle above the fireplace, where a model boat had been. She chose the 30 x 40 inch canvas, and because it will hang on a tall stone chimney, asked that it be vertical rather than horizontal. I had only done that once before, and it too was also chosen to fit a specific place in the client’s home.
The format worked really well. After surveying the yard, I went out on the dock and looked back at the house. This view allowed me to include both the house and the yacht, the party tent on the lawn, and the core family in the lower center of the painting. The client’s sons, able seamen all, lashed a beam across the L shaped deck to erect an event tent to shield me from the rain. Guests could see the large painting from the tent, but made the trek down the dock throughout the evening to see the progress up close. I also happened to be a convenient stop on their way to tour the sixty foot boat moored beside me.
The littlest grandson (four years old) was very much at home on the dock, and he was the first figure I sketched into the painting. I asked him if he had taken swimming lessons (yes), but he quickly asked his babysitter if he could go on the boat (yes), and if he could lift the hatch to the engine room (no). One could easily see that Norwegian seafaring will stay in the family.
|Ellefson 60th Birthday Party 2016 (detail)|
|Ellefson 60th Birthday Party 2016 (detail).|| I always include the dogs. |