18x26 Oil On Stretched Linen
One of my favorite summer memories with my children are taking them to the Como Zoo Carousel. I remember how excited I was the first time taking my daughter when she was only one year old and sitting with her on the horse, she loved it! So, we'd get off, get another ticket and get back in line until she had enough. Not quite sure who was having more fun, her or me. . . Then my son came along and I'd take them both, as the years went by they graduated to me standing between both their horses holding onto the backs of their shirts, to "Mom, we can do it all by ourselves!" and me standing on the outskirts of the carousel taking pictures as they would come around. My daughter was always totally in to 'riding the horse' like a real cowgirl and my son was always looking off.
Needless to say, this painting is a special piece for me, I've had the idea (concept) in my mind for a long time now and it wasn't until recently that I've put that concept onto canvas. I think I knew what I wanted to paint but maybe wasn't quite ready to actually paint it. I know that a good concept is just not enough to make a painting, it takes all the elements and planning to carry through to a complete and solid piece.
So, I started getting ideas down with pencil. Very rough but that was all I needed, was the design and division of space. Throughout the creation of this painting, I never forgot what it was that I wanted to capture in this piece. I LOVE the movement of a carousel, it feels like whimsical magic to me and THAT was what I wanted, that memory and that feeling! I did several quick sketches and this was the design that I felt captured my memories with my children.
I had an old strip of linen mounted on gator board, so scaled it out to make 2 sketches, plus the color scheme I wanted.
This is an average of the color harmony that I wanted to carry through my painting.
Using my pencil sketch, I came up with this value study to capture and translate the light as I remember it. I'm really drawn to this lighting and the solid shapes of the darks here.
After working on concept, design and value, I decided to put them down on canvas in little larger study, this is an 9 1/2 x14. It's very raw but I could see where I needed to go from here.
Wasn't quite satisfied with the larger color study and thought I'd better simplify the masses a bit. This is a tiny sketch, something like 4x6 ish?
And the final painting is above!