The last month has kept me busy. Aside from the usual veggie and flower garden and healthy body upkeep, there has been plenty of activity in the basement studio.
Just as my summer intern and I were winding down our time together, I received a surprise commission from a former client – Kaiser Permanente – and on a short deadline. As in about three weeks from knocking the stretcher bars together until completion. (slide show below)
Then came lots of work for a local non profit’s Field to Fork picnic, then a visit to see my 93 year old mom in California, (where I succeeded in finally convincing her to wear her hearing aides- Go Mom!)
And next up…. another commissioned piece for Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital as a result of a proposal I submitted earlier this year.
The St. Joe piece will measure 3 x 11 feet, and I’ll be using three birch panels – for practical reasons mostly. Easier to handle, they will actually fit in my car, and the image swoops up and down in essentially three sections, so will work well in those successive formats.
In all these years of painting, I’ve never done a work on commission before- assumed at worst it would involve pleasing a fussy or indecisive client, and at best finding a balance between friendly collaboration and protecting my own interests. Now, I’m starting my second within a month. Goes to show you never can know what is around the corner.
Here’s a look at the various stages of the “Arapahoe Vines” painting. I began with very vague set of guidelines, and went from there.
And now I’m planning some specific strategies to help make the next big one go even smoother. One good thing is that I’ll be working from a specific pre-existing proposal that the client wants. I know the color choices in advance, the composition, etc…. and for the first large broad layers, I am going to use a roller commonly used in inking printing plates. And…. I have more than three weeks to get ‘er done.
It’s a good thing to be handed a challenge that makes one step outside of routine, or comfort.
And I feel very gratified that both of these works are in public locations, where patients and their families can interact with and be enriched by them on a daily basis.