The Viking Family Portrait project has several components. The 4' x 6' painting will be the center piece for the exhibit. The historical costumes, tools and weapons will be another focus along with an improved diorama.
I needed to have just enough of the painting decisions made with the general story and color harmony in order to give the costume maker color and design specs. Accessories needed to be ordered. Models needed to be identified and contacted. The frame design will require three different artist/craftsman.
After studying color harmonies in my artist files, I chose a primary color theme. The mother would be the focus of the painting story because I felt the Vikings are usually represented by their violent warrior history. It was not all like that. Their culture gradually changed and life at home had many similar needs and relationships like our own. A mother softens life and provides strong moral leadership when a father is absent. Viking fathers were absent often. I wanted to tell the Viking story through a loving, strong, and courageous mother of her children.
In this color comp, the figures and other elements are place holders for my final composition. I will be doing two photo shoots with the models. A preliminary shoot without costumes to get direction for the final shoot. I will be looking for the right body language, facial expressions, and relationship of the figures to each other and the landscape.
I will take this reference and create a drawing of the composition to guide the the second and final shoot with costumes and correct lighting. My two daughters, Maja and Joanna will be helping me on the second reference shoot. My youngest daughter, MAJA SAHLBERG, is a free lance photographer in Minneapolis, working primarily for General Mills. She keeps Betty Crocker hopping. My oldest daughter, JOANNA HALLSTROM, is the Communication Director for Woodland Hills Church. She is busy managing their web communications, signage, and the graphic design department. She is also a great painter and people person. These girls will get the job done!
THE SODERHOLM FAMILY
Andrew and Brita Soderholm along with their children, have agreed to model as the Viking family. Andrew is being a good sport to grow a little more hair. Brita has been reading my Viking story to the children. She says they are beginning to put themselves in character already! I like that. Andrew is an oral surgeon here in Alexandria and Brita is a nurse in their business. They have a wonderful extended family that will be watching their transformation to the Viking Age.
I will introduce the Kelsey Patton, costume maker in my next post.