This past summer Erik Stenberg passed away at the age of 38, breaking the hearts of his family, friends, and students. His portrait is my gift to his parents, my brother and sister-in-law. It was not an easy painting to work on as my emotions got in the way.
"Bentley" was commissioned by Lisa who is going to gift the portrait to her stepson. Bentley loved swimming in the lake and going for walks. The reference photo had him with a golden halo around like an angel, which I accentuated. He passed away recently. He will be missed.
I love Big Sur, California. Ocher and green hills, intense blues of the ocean, colorful wildflowers, the Bixby Creek Bridge, and so on. I visited it this summer, this time under sad circumstances. The coastal paradise was as beautiful as ever.
"Sami" was commissioned by Bridget and her siblings who are gifting the portrait to their parents for Christmas. Sami passed away in the fall at the age of 14. She loved people and attention. If you weren't petting her, she would whine and paw at you until you were. Sami also loved the lake more than anywhere else. Whenever she was outside at the family's cottage, she would sit on the dock (as in the painting) staring at people until someone came over to throw sticks into the water for her to fetch. Sitting at the dock like that came to be her signature pose and Bridget wanted her portrait to capture it.
Admire the neat row of townhouses by a canal in the famous Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. In the foreground, red geraniums bloom in planters hung over the bridge. A quintessential Amsterdam view in a miniature!