This sketchbook page is a departure from others I've shown previously in that I painted this one from a photo. There is a subtle difference in sketching work drawn from life and that drawn from photos. Illustrator Danny Gregory illuminated the differences much, much more eloquently than I ever could so if you're curious, click here for Danny's blog post titled "Don't Roll Your Eyes at Me." I don't think there's anything wrong with drawing from photographs; anything that keeps you drawing is a great thing. I do make an effort to only use photos I've taken myself and such is the case with this page.
This painting is based on a picture taken years ago of my childhood home. There was this fairy tale picket fence around the front yard although in reality, there was nothing remotely "fairy tale" about this fence (or the house.) I suppose this fence was white at some point and I bet it even kept things out (or in) during its early days. However, when I knew this fence, it was grungy and frail, held up in many places by hope, twine, and tenuous wood splinters that somehow defied the advance of rot. The juxaposition of the vibrant, advancing, sprawling rose vines against the fading, failing fence caught my attention and I pointed my camera in its direction. I've hung onto this photo for a very long time; the house was demolished about a decade ago and the tired fence was laid to rest in the resulting rubble. I prefer to remember my childhood home through this nostalgic lens: wild, wandering beauty overtaking and defeating ruin.