So the work begins.
As I spent a few months absorbing all of this - the captions, the photos, the book itself, all the research - the ideas for how and what to translate into paintings became kind of a process in itself. Each photo was a postcard perfect image, they were all taken by an accompanying professional photog, after all. So it was less a matter of finding something that will work, than it was whittling down a few that will work the best. In my opinion, anyway.
I had several favorites images that I kept coming back to, but everytime I revisited the album, different details would hit me and I'd rethink the images to use for the paintings. This happened so. many. times. A big part of deciding where to begin for the paintings had to do with scale, so I put aside the question of which images for a bit and started to look at the reality of how much room I had to work with in the gallery. These photos were so awesome, felt so epic, that I wanted to work in as large a scale as I could for a few of them.
There was one image in the album that had a group shot on the ship leaving from Genoa. It's the Ausonia. I really wanted to a large scale version of this. After mapping out the gallery dimensions, I figured that I had the room to make this one about 7 feet wide, by 5 high. It's a monster, considering it's on a hard panel and will be covered with many layers of wax. But after determining that, I worked down in size and decided that I'd do several at roughly 5' x 4', a few at 3' x 2', and maybe a few miniatures that will represent the postcards of the trip.
Here's an image of Gravers Lane Gallery, where the exhibition will be.