I was sworn to secrecy about this painting. It was a birthday gift that the owner didn't want the beans spilled about until it was delivered. I didn't even cash the check lest he see it in their bank statement. (FYI Mary, I still haven't but will try to get to that this week)
Mary sent me this:
I was afraid...very afraid.
It is a photograph of her husband's grandmother. His beloved grandmother that just passed away. I knew when I took this commission that it would have to be perfect because of that great love and how much this woman is missed.
No really! There was no pressure from Mary, it was all from me. I felt a great deal of pressure to get this one right but than again I feel pressured about all of my commissioned paintings just not to the degree I did about this one.
I'd only ever done one full-on face painting once before. And, it was a bit of an abstract with the face painted in greens and golds. Not near as hard to do than getting flesh tones right. So, while this hand-coloured black and white wasn't really natural in its flesh tones it was closer than anything I've done.
Plus, getting facial features right scares me. How do you make someone look like they do in a photo. One of my biggest worries was that it would turn out to look like a Picasso face, with two noses, three eyes, and a triangle mouth. I'm pretty sure that was not what Mary was looking for.
Do you want to know what really frightened me? And, what always frightens me when I start a commissioned painting? It is painting a work of a loved one only to have it turn out not looking like what they expect. What if it doesn't look like how they think their loved one looks like? What if they don't like it? What if I fall in love with the painting and don't want to send it to them (which sadly happens every.single.damn.time. Those of you who I've done works for better count your lucky stars because there is not one of these paintings that I haven't wanted to hang in my house, at least for awhile).
So what did I come up with for the above painting?
I think it came out awesome and it was all I could do to pack it up and ship it out. It would have looked great hanging in my office though JR was pretty keen to hang it in our living room. I had to mail it out just to avoid an argument. I shouldn't have worried that Mary wouldn't like it though. She posted about it the other day.
I guess all my angst was over nothing but I doubt I'll ever get complacent about my commission paintings though. I think that angst is what keeps me honest and fuels a sort of perfectionism that I wouldn't ordinarily try for in works that are for my own use. Okay, that's is probably a lie. I worry a painting to death. I can't tell you how many I've painted over or just tossed away because they weren't perfect.
Anyway, that's what I've been working on between travel, moving, working, and life. Mama Badger just commissioned me to paint her adorable boys. They are wearing hats. I love a kid in a hat. Very very cute! I have until Christmas which will give me time to put my studio back together, maybe get a chance to paint a couple of things I've promised to others, and paint a couple of things I have in mind for the new place.
What have you all been up to?