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Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Charlotte Summer

Charlottesummer_2 “A Charlotte Summer”
18x24 Oil on Canvas
August 2007

This summer was hot as hellfire here in Charlotte.  It was in the 100s and to make matters worse, our new air conditioning system bombed on us in the middle of all that August heat.  The upstairs was 85 degrees and hotter thru that horrible week.  Fortunately, our air conditioning system on the main level was working fine and we were freezing downstairs. We got it all fixed and now we are freezing on both levels.

When I saw the photo of this little girl sitting by the lemonade stand, I had to paint her.  It reminded me of my own childhood and also of Sarah setting up her lemonade stand with Matthew this past summer.  The original photograph that I used as a reference was taken by Patrick Schneider, a Charlotte Award Winning PhotoJournalist. 

As for my reference material, I have been blessed to have him as a friend.  Patrick Schneider was a photo-journalist for the Observer for 10 years and travels all over the world for great pictures.  He is an incredible photographic talent and captures moments on film that others can only wish to capture.  He is local and when he said he would work with me and provide me reference material for my paintings I knew that my artwork would benefit from his incredible photography.  I could only hope that if my paintings were anywhere near as fabulous as his photographs, I would have a lot of winners.

As an artist, we are constantly looking for reference material to use for our paintings.  I enjoy painting life situations most of all. Landscapes, Seascapes, Still Life - they are quite beautiful when a scene is depicted with exciting brush strokes and color, but there is something about painting a scene with people that brings the painting to a new level.

You can visit his site at www.patrickschneiderphoto.com.  I don’t use his photos exclusively for my paintings, but they are certainly going to be inspiration for many from here forward.

About the painting: A Charlotte Summer

Hannah was 9 years old when she was selling lemonade in 2006.  Hannah now tells everyone that she is “10, which is 2 numbers!”  That summer she decided to sell lemonade instead of going door to door finding people to sponsor her for the walk for Autism research.  This photograph of Hannah ended up on CNN's homepage and surrounding papers as far away as California. 

She was also nominated for the hometown hero of the week from her local talk radio station WBT110.  Hannah had no clue the impact that she was making in the community.  When she first opened the lemonade stand, people were too busy to stop.  Patrick Schneider, Photojournalist, lived across the street and discovered that Hannah’s lemonade stand was to raise funds for Autism research for her older sister Kaitlyn.  He had to take the picture.  Within hours it was all over the state of North Carolina.  The Charlotte Observer ran the picture on the front page the next day.  Then it all started!  People drove from all over Charlotte and Hannah had lines of cars waiting for a glass of lemonade.  Needless to say, Hannah’s mother was running back and fourth for cups, ice, and lemonade. 

A policeman stopped by and gave her a plastic deputy badge and she thought she died and went to heaven.  She still has that badge in her room.  People were waiting in line just to write a check for her cause and no lemonade.  She raised over 2,000 dollars that summer.  The local Huntersville Herald ran Hannah’s picture and called her the lemonade queen!  She really had no idea of what she had started.  She was just so happy to get that deputy badge.  Then the most amazing thing occurred - Katrina hit and kids from all over Charlotte opened lemonade stands to raise money for the victims.  We couldn't help but think that Hannah started something good.  She loves her sister very much and is always trying to find ways to help make her feel better.  Her parents and family are very proud of her and what type of girl she is becoming, and we are too.

A Charlotte Summer - 18x24 Oil On Canvas.  Contact Chasen Galleries, Charlotte, NC for pricing.




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