PHILLIP ODDEN, NORSK WOOD CARVER, sent me his pencil design for the two Viking carvings on the frame for the Viking Family Portrait painting. Refer to an earlier post describing the frame design. Phillip says, "I made the design in the Jelling Style with a date around 980 AD."
REPLICAS OF VIKING AGE WEAPONS ARRIVED!
The closer I get to these very authentic costume pieces, the more excited I get to start painting! I have always admired the great illustrators of the past century that had the opportunity to work with authentic historical costumes and models. It's now my turn!
These weapons are going to look very nice in our Runestone Museum in Alexandria along side the historical costumes. My thanks to Jim Berquist, Executive Director of the Runestone Museum for his Viking expertise and for taking care of the orders from reputable sources. You are just going to have to come and see the whole get up next April during the open house!
THIS LAST WEEK end Stephen and Jackie Henning from Lakes Country Living filmed and interviewed Kelsey Patton, the historic costume maker for the Viking Family Portrait painting at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota. Lakes Country Living is a family-friendly video show (television and internet) that takes viewers on a deeper exploration of the history, nature and unique lifestyle experiences waiting to be enjoyed in rural Minnesota. http://www.lakescountry.tv
Kelsey explained her part in the Viking Family Portrait project and wowed us with her knowledge of Viking Age costumes and life. I am grateful to Kelsey for her enthusiasm for the project costumes and for sharing her expertise on all aspects of Viking life.
Many thanks to Steve and Jackie for seeing the potential interest in this project to the viewers of their cable tv network. I will announce when this interview will be available.
Last week I asked the Soderholm family to meet me at City Park for a preliminary photo shoot. The historic costumes won't be ready until mid July, so they came dressed in their own clothes. I did ask Brita and her daughter to wear a dress since they would be wearing a historic dress in the final photo shoot.
I took a little over a hundred shots of the family and individuals to get the body language as close to the script as I could. Two of the children did not feel well, but they were troopers through the quick session.
I initially took photos with the lake in the background. The light sky and glare off the lake proved to be too challenging for my skills. I then begin shooting the photos with the lake and open sky to my right with that light defining the models' left side. I also placed the models in the shadow of the park's tree cover. The light was quite beautiful as you can see.
In the next day I used photo shop to adjust the composition, combine shots of the models, and add a Norwegian fjord, an Icelandic sheep dog, a Viking ship and shore line. I am very happy with what I learned about the figures, light definition and composition from this preliminary photo shoot. I will continue to work with the composition elements and let this composition guide me during the final photo shoot with the historical costumes later this month.
THE VIKING FAMILY PORTRAIT will be the largest oil portrait I have painted. Because of its importance to me and to the museum, I have invested some new supplies: Rembrandt oil colors, slow dry and fast dry Gamblin mediums and many Rosemary brushes.
I have been experimenting with Rosemary brushes since I discovered them in Atlanta a few years ago while attending the Portrait Society of America's annual conference. They are handmade by Rosemary & Co. in West Yorkshire, England. I met Rosemary at the conference and was impressed with the care and quality she put into each brush. Apparently the Postman was impressed too since he brought them up to the house. He really was curious about the overseas package and needed my signature to release it.
I am excited to try Rosemary's brushes in all the sizes and styles on this one painting. Pictured below are most of the styles and sizes I ordered. http://www.rosemaryandco.com