Nat hadn’t even seen the sketches I made for this painting, so everything about it was a surprise. From the crowd reaction, I’d say that there was no doubt people recognized who I had painted. Nat was even wearing one of the t-shirts shown in the painting, which gave the portrait even more realism!
The pose shows him standing in the Gannon & Benjamin boat shop on Beach Street in Vineyard Haven, which is actually right next to the gallery which held the unveilings. We owe so much to Nat — he was the main reason we relocated to the Vineyard — and he made a wonderful subject to paint.
Below you can see the completed painting, followed by the initial oil sketch.
See full post here: Elizabeth R. Whelan2014-06-25.