Story of a Commission

Earlier this year, I was commissioned by a client in California to create a large oil painting. It was a piece in reference to one I had completed earlier that year. Here is the process from start to finish. 

If you are interested in commissioning a custom work from me, please contact me here and give me some details on your project. 

Starting out with base layers of color in oil. 

Starting out with base layers of color in oil. 

Before the start of a project, I ask the client a series of questions about their project. Specifically, I ask for color palettes and compositions they would like to see, plus size of the work. This client wanted a piece with lots of light blues, pale teals, and greens, with accents of yellow and orange. This project was based off of a previous painting I had done that they enjoyed, so I had a good jumping off point. I cannot create the same thing twice, but can work "in the style" of an older work.

The completed work, after many layers! I named it "Finding the Flow." This work is oil on canvas, 40" x 40.

The completed work, after many layers! I named it "Finding the Flow." This work is oil on canvas, 40" x 40.

This piece took about 4 weeks to complete, with another 2 weeks needed for the oil paint to dry completely. Project completion varies by size and materials used.

Installed in the client's home.

Installed in the client's home.

It was a joy to complete this special piece for the client, and I received a message after installation of the work that warmed my heart:

Your beautiful piece was installed yesterday, and we are all just crazy about it. The kitchen truly is the center of our home, and we spend hours here every day. It’s such a treat to have this special piece in our home. Thank you again for sharing your talent with us!

I look forward to future custom projects! Let me know if I can complete one for you. :)

Harnessing Chaos

AtWork-1 Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans. ~ John Lennon

For the past month or so, I have been wrestling with a painting. I tried all my usual tricks- sneaking up on it with white paint to "cover up" the parts that were not working, simplifying it, making it more colorful, making it more complex- none of which worked. I ended up with a bit of a mess.

OK, it was down right ugly.

The colors were, frankly, atrocious: acid yellow with earthy teal green, pale pink, weird beige (is beige ever weird? Well, I figured that one out!) and baby boy blue. Their dissonance haunted me for days. In yoga class I would find solutions to the problem, only to not have time to act on them. Finally, this past weekend, I attacked the piece. I knew it needed red, but not just any red: CORAL. That almost-orange-and-almost-salmon color that is gracing all the home decor blogs and catalogs this season.

Oddball

 

So there I was, painting some circles on this piece, with each one thinking, oh, crap, there's another thing I'll have to fix.

But I kept going. Trying to relate the halves of the work, add points of connection, reference and movement, and balance the color scheme so it stayed weird, but not unnervingly so.

This painting is really about trying to find structure in chaos... at some point making peace with the chaos. Therefore the work is not "pretty," but it has a jolie laide quality that makes it work. It is not at all what I set out to do, but somehow, I found a way to harness the chaos and coalesce it into a loose sort of structure. That's why I named it "Oddball."

 

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