Flowers in the Foyer ~ Fragrant and Welcoming!

Thinking back on happy memories of spending Mother’s Day with my mom, I thought it might be nice to post one of my floral paintings in her memory, since we usually bought her flowers or azaleas, which she loved.  

Flowers in the Foyer by William R. Beebe

Flowers in the Foyer by William R. Beebe

This painting has special meaning, because it is a commission I did years ago for dear friends.  Their elegant entrance to their beautiful home was almost always fragrant with fresh cut flowers, welcoming all who entered the foyer.

Looking back on this piece, I remember enjoying the challenges of perspective, tackling the intricacies of the oval inlaid table and the oriental carpet, developing some lighting touches, and most of all working on softening edges.  

I wanted the overall work to have an Impressionist feel to it, which at the time was the beginning of a move away from a concentration on realism for me.  The owners of the home love spending time in the South of France and much of their art is Impressionistic in nature.  I loved reproducing the Impressionist painting on the yellow wall in the background.  It was well lit with a brass painting light and softened by cast shadows.

The dining room in the upper left of the painting had outside light shining through the bay window, casting shadows of the window panes on the white mantel and resulting in a diffused light throughout the room.  

I’m sure it’s difficult to see in this picture, but I added some fun touches like shine on the hardwood floor and candlesticks.  Touches of light on the crystal chandelier added a little sparkle.  

I hope this Mother’s Day brings, if not flowers into your home, some fond memories back to all who have had the best mom, like I had.

An All-Around Nice Guy! ~ Bruce T. Wallace

I’ve been tinkering with this portrait of my wonderful father-in-law for many years.  It was always going to be a practice portrait but in my mind I thought it would be nice to get it to a place where my wife Jen would enjoy looking at it. 

After finishing the portrait of my father, I was determined to finish this one for Jen and for me! 

I called him “Mr. Wallace” through six years of dating his daughter and a couple years into our marriage out of respect.  He always said jokingly, “All of my good friends call me Mr. Wallace.”   I always called Jen’s mom by her first name Joni so after all those years Joni insisted that I start calling him Bruce!  Every time I called him Bruce both he and I couldn’t help but laugh.

Through his exceptional work ethic, Bruce became Executive Vice President of two large insurance trade associations. He was a guy who treated the mailman like his best friend, a guy whose daughters adored him, his son admired him and his wife, and all who knew him, loved him.

He was a Captain in the Marines during the Korean War, so much a patriot that he would only buy American cars. He was always a gentleman, and the ultimate Mr. Nice Guy.  He loved Rock and Roll and working out to music like Creedence Clearwater Revival. 

He was like a second father to me.  I loved his quirky sense of humor.  He loved puns and writing funny poems for special occasions.  We’d always say “That’s a Brucie”!

close up of Bruce.jpg

I ended up using a soft palette with Impressionist touches which seemed an appropriate style to capture Bruce’s soft, good natured personality.  The painting went through so many iterations that it ended up with a sense of translucency, creating a depth in the skin tones.

I like the fact that Bruce has a full smile in this portrait because he was a fun, happy, upbeat person.  The photo I was working from was taken in his younger days before I knew him.  I am pleased that somehow I ended up with Bruce looking more like I remember.

Now when I look at this portrait I finally see Bruce.  Jen now sees her wonderful father and that gives me a real sense of satisfaction.

We miss you Mr. Wallace; I mean Bruce!