Have I been too silent lately? Must be that I’ve been working at other things…

Like this!

I drew this in pencil first. It was too big a painting to try without some directions to follow. I haven’t been this ambitions for a long time.

I imagined this retired officer from the navy on his own on a sunny midday, stopping for a quick lunch. His dignity and military bearing – the straight back,the impeccably clean clothing, the formality of eating in a fast food outlet with a knife and fork – at once amused me and made me admire him.

There is a bit of mystery. Is his wife out shopping so he, not ever having had to look after his own meals, simply goes out for lunch rather than having to make sense of a home refrigerator?  He never lets his guard down. If he had to salute, he would do it crisply, precisely.

On the other hand, he has a flamboyant shirt. It’s the opposite of camouflage fashions.

He’s dressed for summer. The light pours into the place. Just beyond the window is a whole section of the restaurant set up with play equipment for kids. It’s just like boot camp with things to crawl through, things to swing on, to climb  and to slide down. Only these are coloured in bright primary colours and fluorescents of pink and orange.

And here’s the final (minus the face – see more recent post re privacy):

McDining a small anon

I think I will leave it up to look at for a week or two to see if there is anything else to be done.

This may be the only place that I publish this painting. I don’t know what official rules are. They seem to ask if the person knows they are being painted and whether one has permission. Quite frankly, I don’t.

I took the picture I was working from without the man’s knowledge. If I had asked to take his picture, he would no longer have had this terrific natural pose. He might not have wanted me to take one at all.

I have several other paintings I want to do in a similar vein – beautiful people, not in the magazine sense, but dignified, normal, doing what they do without affectation, without posing.  And here’s the other no-no. I’m working with photographs. Ones that I myself  have taken of people and of  situations that I find interesting or extraordinarily typical.


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4 Responses to “McDining”

  1. fencer Says:

    Hi lookingforbeauty,

    Wonderful painting! That is so good. You capture the moment, and the gesture of the person, so well.

    My rationalization about the matter of permission, is that you are like a writer who creates characters often from real life. Depending on how literal your rendering is, you are depicting something other than the photographic reality of a specific person.


  2. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Thanks Fencer,
    With your rationalization, would you think that I could publish this painting with impunity, even if the resemblance were very close to reality?

  3. fencer Says:

    Hi lookingforbeauty,

    Well, I’d hate to say something that might get you in trouble…

    But I guess the test would be to show it to the person that is the basis of your piece and see what they say… they might not even recognize themselves.


  4. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Hi Fencer,
    I engaged in an interesting discussion this evening with a lawyer on just his subject. I’ll follow up in the next few days…
    But bottom line is that I’ve invaded someone’s privacy by taking a photo without his or her permission. It’s not allowed.

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