|Buddha Gothic 11×17 watercolor by Rachael Shores|
I’ve been waiting so long to share this with you! Earlier in the year I was approached by a family friend to do this commission. These are some friends in the Chapel Hill tribe that were transferred from Durham, NC to Chadron, Nebraska for her first assignment as a newly ordained Lutheran minister while he’s a practicing Buddhist.
We’re all familiar with the stern “American Goth” painting and that is, of course, what I was asked to emulate. Why didn’t I think of that? I switched out a couple things to make it “them”. Her church isn’t the same architecture as the house so I made one up with a compilation of some internet photos, the broach was to emulate something like a giant star sapphire to look more like a cross, and kept her outfit all black to keep that religious feel and keep the amount of black that is in the painting. Also, as a little secret, the stained glass makes out their initials “J+A”. It’s a little difficult to pick out but that was the intention at least.
Facebook was a lifesaver in finding the pictures that I needed for references. I was working undercover so I couldn’t ask for help from the unknowing subjects. I used mostly these for a cut and paste design.
|If only I could have captured this smile!|
I’m happy that the reference photos I did find were not only perfect but they were taken at my in-laws’ before I was married. For 9 years in a row my husband’s parents put on extravagant dress-up parties in May and this was the year of The Funk Party, 2009. I like that this memory got woven into the painting and look how well the couple posed for their Gothic portrait!
|I’ll use her pose,|
I began this painting earlier this Spring at the beach, the traditional beach trip that this couple would have normally come on. Many of our friends got to see the beginning of the painting. When I finished it at the beginning of June I had to wait for the big Nebraska pilgrimage. It’s been a great adventure to come out and see where our friends have found a new home.
We had the great unveiling just this Sunday. It was spectacular. The funders mailed the painting to John and Ann with instructions not to peak and there was a sweet little speech about a late x-mas present, happy anniversary instead. Next month is their 25th anniversary. Happy Anniversary you guys!
|It was a 5 hour car ride out of Denver.
The driving instructions: get out of Denver, go North for about 200 miles and turn right in Wyoming.
There is also the T-shirt replicated in real life. I wish I had a picture of that. I still might be able to get one. Graphic Design is not my area but I did my best to make a computer image. This is as close as I could get. I couldn’t even figure out how to color anything. In the end the T-shirt place pulled the lettering and image right off the painting and pasted it on a Kelly Green t-shirt. It looks great and I think the intention is to sell T-shirts. Let me know if you’re interested in one.
|Well. . . I think I can say they are at least highly amused.|