12x16 oil on panel, Natural wood frame. (Lots of thick impasto work on this one).
The title of this painting comes from the song "Matthew" by John Denver (my mom was a fan). As soon as I saw this photo, I thought of that song, and my mom. In her last few years her memory was rapidly deteriorating, but she always perked up when she heard a song she knew, (she couldn't remember what day it was, but she always remembered old songs she loved). Music brought her great joy. That's the purpose of art, if you ask me :-)
The song begins:
"I had an uncle, name of Matthew, he was his father's only boy.
Born just south of Colby, Kansas, he was his mother's pride and joy.
Yes, and joy was just a thing that he was raised on,
love was just a way to live and die.
Gold was just a windy Kansas wheat field,
blue was just the Kansas summer sky."
I hope this painting reminds you of a family member, who lived long ago. Maybe a grandparent who you knew well, or an uncle you never met, but who lived a life as textured and rich as our own. This painting is a reminder to celebrate their life.
The original image was from a scanned 35mm Kodachrome slide from 1947. I absolutely LOVE old Kodachrome photos. I want to paint ALL of them! Many thanks to Ryan Conroy Instagram: @conroyphotocollection for allowing me to paint his reference photo.