My journey with Gord
After completing my accidental portrait of Roger Daltrey of The Who, I felt like it was time. I set up the large canvas on my traveling easel - it is much easer to adjust up and down - then started with the face and hat. While I do my best to stay out of my head during these painting projects, I certainly crafted a strategy to approach the work. Where normal I work from left to right, because of the awkward large size the canvas, I would work top to bottom.
Most of Saturday was spent going from the face, scarf, shirt, arms and pants. I spent the last few hours bringing in the background.
I went back to the blue for this one because no other colour was calling to me. I added in some teal and white. The lighter background seems to bring out the intense joy in his face. I really wanted it to seem like is was singing a song in heaven.
You may wonder why I've returned to Gord Downie a number of times. In three of the four cases, they were special requests and/or commissions. People with deep and abiding love for Gord felt that a painting by me would help in some way. The emotion that I have put in these paintings is not my own; it is that of others.
Generally speaking, I'm not a rock guy. My natural musical tastes lie in different genres. However, through my four journeys with Gord I have developed an appreciation for his music and a profound respect for the man. I've heard personal accounts from clients who knew him and in each is a common thread: he loved music and he loved people.
I'm going to title this one "Song in heaven", because that's where my heart kept going to as it was coming together. I have some small things to do to finish this painting, small adjustments and final details, then it will be ready for the client.