The moment I met Johnny I knew I wanted to paint him. He had such a twinkle in his eyes when he spoke that I knew that I wanted to try to capture that.
I informed Johnny that I wanted to take a few photos of him as reference to do a painting of him. We set a time to meet at his place. Of course I wanted to capture Johnny in his own surroundings, he being a woodsman most of his life, but when we arrived at his house and were invited in, I smiled to myself as I saw this man sitting on his couch in his “Sunday best”.
I told Johnny that he was very handsome in his good clothes, but I wanted a more down to earth feeling for the portrait…so we came on another day to take the pics. Ron spoke to him as I took pictures of him various forms of animation. I had to manipulate the background, but I’m happy with Johnny.
I loved doing this portrait, and as Sargent once said, every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend. Meaning that when he did a portrait of someone, he felt he got to know him or her well, and when the painting was given away…he felt a loss. That’s how I felt with Johnny.
But he didn’t go far…just into my neighbours home, who happens to be his daughter.