Monday, October 15, 2012

Business End - commissioned piece

I leave for Haiti on a mission trip in 2 days. Preparing to go has been difficult this year: our church is also in the middle of building a parsonage (a historic even for our small congregation), I have a show opening the first of November, and I have a large commission painting that has been eating my lunch.
The collector contacted me and asked if I could do a large rendition of a small painting that she just loves. I have done this many times before, so of course I agreed. But I didn't pay close enough attention to the details of the little painting and why it is appealing. 
The collector wanted an image slightly wider than it is tall, so we agreed on a 36 X 30, creating issue number 1: The original is a square composition and they don't always translate into a successful rectangle. I think I can handle that issue, though.
She also wanted it on stretched linen, creating issue number 2: This little painting was done on canvas BOARD, giving me a firm backing for my brushstrokes; not "springy" as a canvas allows.
Issue number 3: The canvas itself. I used a rough cotton canvas on the little one which allow the canvas' texture to show through the brush strokes - the finer linen canvas doesn't do this.
Issue number 4: Timing. I painted the little one in a single sitting which translated into spontaneity and liveliness. I have not done that with the larger one - I let the painting dry between layers - losing the "ala prima" effect as well as the canvas texture.
Issue number 5: My fear of big brushes!!!! SO many of us get caught up in the details of a painting and forget about the composition, color and values - all obtainable with big, bold, brave brushes.
I need more paint.
I also need an entire day to devote to correctly assemble this painting. I have already purchased a firmer ground, gessoed it and painted the basic image on it. Paint is ordered and will be here when I return from my mission trip. 
Everything is painted for the show (and currently drying). More on that (and the BILLBOARD!) later.
I am so grateful for this PATIENT patron who has assured me that she is comfortable letting me do what I think is best. No pressure!!!
Now please pray for me and my teammates - we leave this Wednesday, Oct. 17 and will return the 25th.  Mike is keeping the home fires burning (and the horses fed, and the garden watered, and the dogs exercised. Abbey the cow (and the model for the painting) does not need to be milked as her calves are quite large now and getting it all. 

Colossians 3:9-10

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.


Susan said...

Hi Debbie - please be safe and happy on your trip. I am amazed at how many paintings - new paintings - are on your blog. It's a real delight to see them. I love your style of painting, your subject matter and I love reading your commentary as well.

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

I hope the mission trip went well!