These gentlemen had already been together for 20 years before they commissioned this portrait for their anniversary. As Pagans, they officially honored partnerships between straights or gays. They asked to be depicted wearing their personal symbols, a griffin or a wolf, which I depicted as embroidery on their neo-antique tunics. They wore a copper or brass cuff instead of wedding rings. The one on the left is a major Pagan writer, ceremonialist, and teacher.
It took me months to complete this picture, which I nicknamed "The Beards." I started it in wintertime. By the time I was finished, the trees were flourishing with fresh yellow-green spring foliage, rather like the Middle Atlantic states right now. In its time this open celebration of Gay partnership was still somewhat shocking, but nowadays the widespread acceptance of Gay marriage has made it look…cozy, except for the Pagan part. The art is still on display in this couple's house, and they just celebrated 15 more years as spouses since the painting.
"The Beards" is acrylic on Masonite, 20" x 24", spring 1999. Click on the image for a larger view.