"The Fowler Home - 201 East University" 16 x 20 Watercolor
Home portrait commissions are hard work. Most go together pretty quick; the elements are easily defined and arranged into a pleasing composition. If it's one of the quick ones, the "research phase" only involves 2 on location sessions for color notes and sketches of architecture details that are lost in the shadow areas of a photograph. The "drawing phase" is about 4 hours and the "painting phase" takes from 4 to 6 hours. Then there are commissions that take a bit longer.....like this one; "The Fowler Home". As you can see from my reference photos below, this is not a small house!
This 2-1/2 story home is a 100+year old beauty sitting on a 1/4 acre lot in a historical residential district of Waxahachie. Mature trees surround the house and in the summer the dappled light adds to the charm. One tree on the north side is probably older than the house. On the south side toward the back is the carriage house. The home and carriage house have been through many phases of restoration which involves a lot of time, patience, and expense. After many happy years of raising a family, the owners are now "empty nesters" and have decided to down-size. They commissioned the painting as a memory to take with them and will pass the painting on to the children.
This is a close-up detail of the front door.
View looking north toward the 100+ year old tree
View of the front from the street
The carriage house
During my interview with the owners, I quickly discovered that the carriage house and the big tree were important to them. In order to include both in the composition, the "angle" of the house had to be "straight-on" with the tree on the right and the carriage house on the left. Oh, and the brick walk was important too; they laid it by hand themselves.
This commission was a lot of work - about 20 hours total; but it was joyful work. I love turn-of-the-century homes...they just don't make 'em like that any more, and I appreciate people - like my clients - who take time and money to care and preserve them for the next generation.