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COMPANIONS in THE GARDEN – The Making of a First Lady Portrait Artist

Book Cover

COMPANIONS in THE GARDEN – The Making of a First Lady Portrait Artist

by Candace Whittemore Lovely with Jodie Randisi

Book Cover Jacket

revised 11/24/14

Candace Whittemore Lovely is one of a few American artists who can say they were invited to the White House to paint the First Lady of the United States. As such, Candace gives readers an insider’s view of what it was like to paint the official White House portrait of Barbara Bush, one of the most popular First Ladies to have ever lived in the White House.

In this book, filled with never-before-told stories together with never-before-seen images, Candace describes this historical time in her life as a young artist. Readers will be drawn to Candace’s behind-the-scenes struggle with dyslexia as well as her unpublished stories of friendly moments with Barbara; how a letter written by an intern started the two-year process; and how the White House staff enlisted the help of Jonathan Fairbanks, a curator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, to investigate her so that they could gain a thorough understanding of her artistic process.

Candace recalls how passing clouds led to political joke-swapping with the First Lady while she was painting Mrs. Bush from life in the First Lady’s Garden. She tells how they rummaged through three closets to find the perfect outfit, and how much thought went into posing the First Lady so her knees would be not show. She reveals how she came up with just the right words to ask the First Lady to rethink her props, which were too many and not working for the perfect composition Candace had in mind. She recalls how she couldn’t put two words together when she met President H. W. Bush because she knew dyslexia had the potential to jumble her words, bungling any attempt at elegant language.

In addition to sharing her exclusive stories, Candace also describes her artistic influences from childhood through her years of training at the renowned Boston School. She explains why her training as a classical painter was essential for this grand task. She talks openly about the impact each art instructor had on her development and how handing a painting over to a patron is like giving birth to a child. “Each painting is a life experience and moment in time captured, which means paintings are also containers of stories.” Readers can look forward to enjoying a few of Candace’s most heartwarming, even life-changing, stories.

If you’ve ever wondered why many brilliant people, artists in particular, struggle with dyslexia, or if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to paint a popular public figure at the White House, this is the book for you. Find out what goes into the making of a First Lady’s portrait with artist Candace Whittemore Lovely.

COWCATCHER Publications

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