A couple months ago I had the privilege of creating two nursery paintings for a sweet, sweet client and brand new mom: a nursery lyrics painting for "Tender Shepherd" and one for "Hold on to Jesus." You can see those paintings and read about them here. Several weeks ago, she contacted me at my studio in Atlanta about commissioning two new nursery lyrics paintings for her sister. I was honored and thrilled!! She wanted to give them to her for Mother's Day! It was so much fun to work with this family again! Below are some pictures and descriptions of the two pieces! Her sister chose Tender Shepherd (just like my client had in the past) and Moon River lyrics for me to paint.
Moon River was composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics written by Johnny Mercer. These were the lyrics my client chose to have painted (They may differ some from the original):
Moon River Moon river, wider than a mile I'm crossing you in style some day Dream maker, you heart breaker Wherever you're going, I'm going your way Two drifters, off to see the world There's such a lot of world to see We're after the same rainbow's end, waiting, round the bend My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and I
When painting this piece I wanted the moon to have a distinct glow, and I had been wanting to use gold leaf for quite some time, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try it out in the piece. I put the gold leaf where I wanted the moon and stars then painted over them to give them their shape. I kept going back in forth about how I wanted the river to look, whether there should be grass growing beside it or let it have more of a starry night feel, so I decided to go ahead and paint the lyrics on top. I showed some options to my clients and they asked for some trees to be placed by the river. I was able to easily add them in and repaint the words. I love the way it turned out and am so glad my clients do too! I always love the collaboration process I get to have in creating a custom piece, making changes is part of the process and helps me know my client is going to end up with something they love
As I wrote in my first blog, I believe Tender Shepherd was originally written for the musical Peter Pan by Carolyn Leigh and Mark Charlap. Here are the lyrics I painted:
Tender Shepherd Tender shepherd, tender shepherd, let me help you count your sheep. One in the meadow, Two in the garden, Three in the nursery, fast asleep. Tender shepherd, tender shepherd, let me help you fall asleep. One, close your eyes, Two say your prayers, and Three, safe and happily, Fall asleep Now it’s time for this sweet boy to close his eyes and go to sleep. Tomorrow will bring a brand new day, full of fun and things to do.
I was most nervous about this painting because I had already painted a Tender Shepherd lyrics painting for my client here. I asked her sister if she wanted it to look the same as the first or something different. She said it could look completely different and I so I took a more detailed approach with the sheep. Instead of painting multiple sheep as I did in the first painting, I painted one large sheep. I then added a gloss medium to give the painting a textured and raised look.