Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Birmingham

A lady I met in Birmingham has contracted me for a 30x40 commission - a gift to her husband for Father's day. Quite exciting and naturally I am thrilled to do it. Some artists do not like commissions. But for me it is quite the opposite!

For me, it is a true privilege to be chosen for a painting. It is such an important and personal decision. For a person to find art they resonate with is hard enough and then to take the very big step to commission a custom piece, well, that's a big deal and I take the responsibility seriously.

I am challenged by the task. Ideally, I crawl into the person's head a little bit, to find out more about them, the purpose for their piece, what they are hoping to depict. Typically someone has already identified one of my pieces that seems special to them. Or perhaps they have several pieces they like but want me to combine ideas.

Usually my commissions involve family photos. For a large piece such as this 30x40, I request lots of photos and materials for the background so I can pick and choose. I will only use a small fraction of what I received, but as I review the items, it seems I instantly gravitate to the ones that reveal some soul. I know it sounds really woo woo, but intuitively I know which photos and which pieces I want to use. To these parts, I add special items from my own collection of ephemera.

And then I layer, layer, layer. Paper, photos(copies, not the originals) and paint, all layered up. Some of the things will inevitably be hidden by paint and left with only parts peeking out. Clients will contact me months later and tell me how they continue to find hidden meaning in the piece, little symbols they didn't even realize were there at first. That is when I know I have really succeeded. To create a slightly mysterious painting, something so interesting, and with so many layers, that it warrants continued examination is a treat for me. I love to delight and surprise the client; that magic is priceless.


  1. Anonymous9:01 AM

    missed you at brookside art fair. you are probably lucky not to have been there. it rained absolutely buckets, along with major thunder and lightning. we were there sunday noon and many many artists were leaving, getting ready to leave, or had already split. not very good stuff this year, IMHO anyway. i have always liked brookside better than plaza, but there was nothing at all inspirational or even interesting. but then maybe they had all left by the time i got there. i could find almost no abstracts. lots of jewelry, some to lust after, some not so much; lots of glass (ugh); woven clothing (ugh); wood (fascinating to watch make but not my interest.) maybe these were the types of things not so harmed by the deluge. i don't have any idea who chose the art for the show, or if the artists were happy with the results. it worries me a little that there weren't any abstracts -- why is that???

  2. I missed being there too - I entered but was rejected. The juror was Paul Dorrell of the Leopold Gallery which just moved to Brookside. I was going to submit some of my work to him for review, but I guess I already know what he thinks about it :-)
    Sorry to hear there were no abstracts. I cannot imagine why not?


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