The inspiration for a painting can come form any number of places. For me, ideas usually come from sketching bur sometimes an idea comes while driving or sleeping or during a movie. An object or another work of art can inspire an idea. In this case, it was the frame that made me want to create something for it. The frame was made by my friend Michael Graham at Masterworks Frames. It fits a 24 x 40 inch painting.

I am lucky to live near Masterworks and saw this frame in their workshop and had to get it, not knowing what I was going to paint. I started to do my research and decided I wanted to do a painting that would be based off of this sonnet by Tennyson:

III. Sonnet: “O, were I loved as I desire to be”
By Alfred Tennyson (1809–1892)

O, WERE I loved as I desire to be!
What is there in the great sphere of the earth,
Or range of evil between death and birth,
That I should fear,—if I were loved by thee?
All the inner, all the outer world of pain,
Clear love would pierce and cleave, if thou wert mine;
As I have heard that somewhere in the main
Fresh-water springs come up through bitter brine.
’T were joy, not fear, clasped hand in hand with thee,
To wait for death—mute—careless of all ills,
Apart upon a mountain, though the surge
Of some new deluge from a thousand hills
Flung leagues of roaring foam into the gorge
Below us, as far on as eye could see.

I think that painting to a story or poem is a great way to find inspiration. I do it often for illustration commissions, but it is a little different when you choose the source and are the client too!

I did some rough sketches in Procreate to get a sense of the colors and values and taking the arch of the frame into account.

Once that was done, I did a photoshoot at a local antiques store, with permission of course 🙂 It made a huge difference to have access to some gorgeous furniture and accessories. I assembled everything in Photoshop and then drew my composition on a piece of ArtFix linen mounted on Gatorfoam

I glued the linen to the Gatorfoam using GAC 100.

I purchased some flowers at Hobby Lobby and shot them under the same light for the photoshoot.

Here is a 1 minute time-lapse:

And here it is in the frame:

I think my most successful pieces are all those that I have painted for myself. It is a goal this year to do more personal work!

If you are interested in a longer video and the reference used as well as commentary on how I made this painting, you can get that through my Patreon or on Gumroad.

If you have some personal work that you have done recently and want to share it below in the comments, please do!