For a while, I have been wanting to do a series of figures at work, using their hands and heart to create. It seemed only natural to me that I begin with a scene from a restaurant. I grew up in the restaurant business, my dad was a chef and owned a restaurant for several years. My brother's and I chose different career paths, but my cousin Paul found his way into the business. Last March, I was lucky enough to visit his restaurant and take photos of him and his staff busy at work. This painting was a huge challenge for me as I am not comfortable with portraiture, and I don't spend a lot of time doing figure work. The background was also a challenge, I tried keeping the values close in range, and simplified the colors, with little spots of the warmer oranges to pull your eye through the painting. I could keep going back into this one, but I think I am going to call it finished.
If you are ever in the Bay Shore area of Long Island, you should stop by Mulberry Street Restaurant and try the meatballs - the pizza is pretty awesome too!