I first saw Sue sitting at a table across from mine at a speech contest in Las Vegas. I liked the look of her face to the extent I asked her to pose for a painting. I had recently returned from a trip to Mackinac Island where I saw an old photo from circa 1915 on a hotel wall. In the photo was a woman standing on a sun dappled porch. There was something about the image that was very moving. I had in mind to pose Sue in a similar setting.
She has never said outright, but I believe she was a little apprehensive having a strange man ask to paint her. I was more than hesitant about asking Sue to drive around with me looking for sun drenched porches to pose on. When she told me her husband, Bernie, was an accomplished photographer, I asked to have him shoot a series of photos (uh oh – here comes Lisa; I’ll just take my tongue lashing and move on). He posed Sue in their backyard with the sun filtering through the trees.
I asked Sue to pose in a dress with a high collar (I like the look of those turn of the century high necked dresses); she posed in an elegant light colored full dress. As you can see in the painting, I changed clothes for her, substituting a grey jacket and black skirt.
When the portrait was finished Sue and Bernie graciously hosted an exhibit of the painting along with some of my other work in their home. I drank some fine wine, ate, and had a great time giving a short talk on the creation of the painting.
Thanks Sue and Bernie,