“ghost rider”

A Special Piece for a Special Friend

This weekend has been full of joy and love in the Ostrander home.  I am so grateful to my close circle of friends for joining me to celebrate my four minutes of fame in the KVIE Art Auction last night.  Thank you all!  I love you all!  In preparation for the evening I have been busy in the studio creating some new paintings and pulling out some old ones to put on display.  I have much to share about the evening, the auction, and the new pieces; I will be sure to bring several updates to you in the coming days.

This post is about a particular piece that I created in February 2019, “ghost rider”.  Finding inspiration for artwork is one of the ways that I get to look within, search my heart and mind, and conceptualize my connections to the world around me.  Sometimes it is a lengthy process and sometimes it can be brief… but it is always rewarding.  In the case of “ghost rider”, the vision was instantaneous, emerging from tragic loss. I completed this piece within days following the passing of a very close friend, Steve Silver.  Our families spent several summers on the lake together and, while the kids loved bouncing around in the tubes and towables, wake surfing was how we old farts would get our groove on behind the boat.  After receiving the horrible news, I closed my eyes and saw Steve wake surfing; when I close my eyes now and think of him, I see him wake surfing… with a smile and laugh that is contagiously trademark Steve.  I miss you, Steve.

I knew last night would be the first display of this work and I wanted it to be special for Jenny, Steve’s widow. So I framed it and put it in a prominent spot for all the see.  A surprise gesture from Jenny’s friend, David, resulted in “ghost rider” leaving to the Silver home at the end of the night!

Like so many of my works, I began “ghost rider” with color and technique.  I wanted to capture the water flowing, and the different textures of the water’s surface; from the smooth, reflective sheen of the undisturbed surface in front and to the sides, to the fast wash emitting from the underside of the boat, to the turbulent tumble of water rising and cresting to form the wake.  I didn’t take a lot of progress pictures on this one because the paint just kept flowing out of me.  Below are a few moments I did capture in the process…

It was during the process above that I decided I was going to just have the surfboard as the focal point and not do any figurative image on it, hence “ghost rider”.  Instead of seeing Steve, it leaves the viewer to feel his presence and all the nuance that he is; something I could never have done justice.

I am so grateful and honored to see this piece off to the home where it was intended to hang!  Thank you Jenny and David!  Love you!

 

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