Opa! I just completed this custom portrait of Anthony Quinn that I was commissioned to do. It is inspired by his character Zorba The Greek and at the same time a memorial tribute (hence the pin on his jacket).
I truly love when someone presents their visions to me and at the same time trusts me to use my creativity to incorporate such ideas into the piece how I choose. It allows me to get my creative blood flowing and at the same time put a little piece of myself into the artwork.
As some of you know from my previously shared Axe Man’s Bridge post or from just knowing us personally, we recently lost our close friend Danny T. I wanted to do something special in his memory that I could also gift to his parents. Danny and I shared a love of creating art so what better way to pay tribute to him than to create a piece of art inspired by him.
It was one of the hardest portraits I have ever had to do. Not just because it was done from various photos to create one unique image (I didn’t want to just replicate a photo of him that everyone had seen, I wanted it to be unique just like Danny). There were many times I literally asked Danny to help guide my pencil and there were many breakdowns where I had to walk away from it because it would hit me what I was drawing and why. But in the end, it came out exactly how I had hoped. Danny in his hat that he always wore, a tiny smirk on his face and his favorite Gibson Les Paul Sunburst guitar. A guitar not only that he loved dearly but played many shows with it on stage with Frank. Even up until the week he passed he and Frank were still jamming out for fun and making new music together. So it was important for me to incorporate that.
Yesterday was his “celebration of life” memorial so I brought it to give to his parents and they put it on display surrounded by his own art pieces. Frank and I specifically picked out the frame because it actually reminded us of something Danny would’ve made. He was actively working on a lot of art projects that involved upcycling items and making them cooler than the life they had once before. On Memorial Day weekend he showed me a table he had been working on and he had burned the wood to give it this same effect. So even the frame had meaning behind it.
I am happy to finally be able to share this with the rest of the world. Not just to showcase what I have been working on but to pay tribute to such a great person. I think it was the beginning stages of healing for me and now that I have given it to his parents I feel a sense of closure. Danny T. was an incredible human being and inspired so many of us. Not only to just be better people but to keep creating. I just hope he realizes how many lives he has touched. Yesterday was a huge reminder of that for all of us but I just hope he knows how much he impacted the lives of so many people.
I know my artwork in the past has helped others heal. So if you would like a print of this piece, please feel free to reach out to me. I had been asked by a few people yesterday and I am sorry that I didn’t think to bring prints to the memorial. My main goal was to just get it there safely, in one piece and be able to gift it to Danny’s parents.
In Memory of Danny Thornton May 15, 1980 – June 11, 2018
Tom (a past customer of mine) contacted me recently asking if I can do another portrait for him. I had drawn a memorial portrait of his niece, Audra 4 years ago and he said he immediately thought of me when he decided to have a 2nd memorial portrait done. This time it would be of his pet wolf named Possum. I was honored he came back to have me do yet another meaningful piece and after seeing photographs of his unique and captivating pet, I became instantly excited to work on it. After finishing the portrait the other night I emailed Tom the first draft. I couldn’t be happier when I saw his response in my inbox. It said….”I LOVE IT!”
Last night I put a protective spray on the portrait and tonight I am getting it ready to ship out. I can’t wait to hear what Tom thinks of it when he sees it in person.
Memorial portraits are a wonderful way to pay tribute and keep the memory alive of someone we love. I hope that this portrait of Possum brings some peace to Tom during this time and he can look at it and think back of all the wonderful times he spent with his beloved pet.
The memorial portrait I was commissioned to do recently is done and I could not be happier with the way it came out. I am even more happier with the feedback i got from the customer.
Tom contacted me to do this memorial portrait of the beautiful Audra. I was asked to add some purple flowers to represent her favorite color. This is the first time I have incorporated color into a black and white portrait. Normally I either do them black and white or color. I am so happy that Tom asked me to do this as I really love the way it turned out.
Tom then showed Audra’s older sister and this was her reaction that literally brought a tear to my eye…
Art can be fun and it can be interesting but when it becomes sentimental it brings it to another level. I was touched to hear how happy the family is with the portrait I completed for them as I know how important it is to want to keep the memory of your loved ones alive. Memorial portraits are a wonderful way to do this and I was honored that Tom saw my portfolio and thought I was the right artist to do this for them.