Several months ago I was commissioned by the Innis Arden Golf Club in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, to create an historically-inspired painting for their clubhouse. The mandate was to portray the club as it existed at the turn of the 20th century, when it was a 9-hole private course located on Sound Beach (now Tod's Point), at the waterfront estate of J. Kennedy Tod.
I was unable to travel to the site, so, with limited e-mailed reference material -- a small black and white photograph of golfers Sound Beach in 1901, a copy of a 1900 hand-drawn course map, new color photographs of the Innis Arden Cottage (which is now a community treasure on part of the town beach), and sleuthing on Google Earth -- I developed a plan to place the golfers in accurate perspective to the home and figured out the direction of sunlight for that location.
I could take some artistic liberties to help tell the story. I chose the time of day (morning light) and season (late summer/early autumn), taking clues from the golfer's clothing. No one living today would know exactly what the golfers looked like and what specific plantings were around the home. At the same time, the painting needed to be an accurate impression of the site. Without the historic cottage and a specific pair of entry gates -- the painting could be three golfers anywhere along a coastline.
Over several months, rough sketches and color studies, more photographs and videos created on iPhones were sent back and forth by e-mail with the client. My very patient husband stood in as a model for the kneeling golfer, as the reference photo was very dark, and I wanted to place him in a different direction to improve the composition.
An online artist friend who lives in a nearby town kindly sent me some of his personal photographs of the area which helped me recheck the colors of sea, sand and sky.
The finished painting measures 30 x 40 inches and will hang in the main entry of the modern-day Innis Arden Golf Club, which is a few miles away from Tod's Point.
Sometime during the next year, I will see it in it's new home and give it a protective coat of varnish. Some things, you just have to do in person!
About the artist
Linda Rosso is a California artist who delights in the colors she sees out of the corners of her eyes. Read more...
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