Gilbert Stuart has done so many portraits of important Americans. Looking through a book one night I decided I wanted to do something based on Stuart's work. The choices seemed endless, but I went with a limited number of his work and some of his most well known paintings, John Jay, Washington, John Adams and his self portrait. Everybody has seen the painting of Washington. Even with just his eyes peering out you know who he is, and I thought this would be a unique way to show him. Stuart's self portrait looks as if Rembrandt did it, and what a great look on his face.
I signed the painting on the white tag on the left, I rarely sign my work in one of the corners. I like to find a place where type is expected and sign it there, for trompe l'oeil it makes sense to do that. The white tag has other information on it like painting size. oil on panel, and the artist name, Gilbert Stuart.
As for the other areas of the paintings I try to produce things that will bring the viewer in closer, like stamps and postmarks. Doing a cork bulletin boards can be challenging because of the lack of color and the risk that it will all look the same and lack interest. The board is also a nice throw back to the letter racks of Peto and Harnett.