Creating Commission Art and “Letting it Go”
When I was asked to create an original piece of art that was going to be a gift, I was so excited. I love a collaboration project. I’ve been asked to do commission art before, but it hasn’t always been a good fit with my style or the kind of mediums I work with. This project was a perfect fit.
I’ve created lots of commercial/licensed art in my career–meaning I have created art to a certain design specification or look/feel. But, I’m not the artist that’s a good fit for doing a “portrait” of your furry friend, just sayin’ and yes, I’ve been asked before. HA!
For me, creating a piece of art all starts with a story, a feeling, emotion, or something I’m working out of my head into a sketchbook, canvas, etc. So, for me to take on a commission and feel energized through the process, authenticity and feeling good is a key ingredient.
Could I paint an amazing portrait of a “furry friend.” Sure, I can. I have the technical abilities to do so.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, just sayin’.
I’ve learned over many years as an artist that I need to paint and create from a place that feels right. The story is often the inspiration for the work. So… if it feels right and is an absolute YES and the story behind the work fills me up, then the whole process is KISMET.
This process is not new territory. I believe a lot/most artists create from a place that is deep inside them.
Here’s How the Commission Art Process Flowed
Now on to the juicy stuff. Here are a few images of the commission work in progress. I recently delivered this work and that’s another fun thing I like about commissions… DELIVERY DAY. I enjoy seeing the reaction on delivery day! It’s such a positive experience.
I shared the progress of this 8×10 cradle board in my Instagram feed. (BTW, follow me there. I microblog everyday and share a lot more art)
I create most of my mixed media works on wood cradle board. CRADLE BOARD…Fancy word for a canvas made out of wood and unfinished. ? I used Qor watercolor ground to prep and prime the cradle board so that I can work in watercolor to get the fluidity and staining of color I like to achieve. This ground is a bit different from gesso in that it creates a super-absorbent, sponge-like surface that’s allows for lifting and scrubbing of watercolor and other mediums. It also picks up the texture lines in the wood grain and gives added texture to the work that you wouldn’t otherwise see on a hot press or cold pressed watercolor paper. I LOVE IT!
Here’s the final work that was delivered. Once completed, I sealed the painting with a workable fixative and then polymer UV varnish that protects the final work from UV light, dust, etc. I’m happy to share that my customer gave this piece to her college-aged daughter. We worked closely together to create this look in color palette and sentiment. I was super excited to get a photo sent to me when she received it. I love pics with happy faces holding my artwork.
And, I love knowing that a little piece of my work will help delight someone else. Letting go of a work that has so much of you within each layer of goodness is so much easier knowing it’s giving grace to someone else’s life. Wouldn’t you agree? Have you ever gave one of your works away or sold it and felt a little heartache?
I’d love to hear your story.
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