Sunday, July 12, 2015

anatomy of a commission

white bird started showing up in my journal a little over a year ago. she can be very joyful and mysterious
she can be thoughtful and wise

when i first posted these images on social media i was surprised at the response. these are doodles- i can't draw- but these pieces elicit a response.
"sing your song" is the first piece of art to come from the journal entries

then I was contacted by a woman whose sister bought her a print of mine. we've met, and she's a facebook friend who I am looking forward to actually getting to know. d. wanted 4 roughly 12x12 pieces for her bedroom. she likes white bird. she likes nature- flora and fauna. she's a quilter, so I received fabric swatches from the quilt and beyond that I was free to come up with art.

the fabric lived in my studio for far too long. she was patient while I traveled, did a traffic box, traveled more, apologized- and didn't work on her commission.


but it turns out that i was working on it. figuring out how to do it right. the journal page dark backgrounds are dylusions spray ink- but they're water soluble and can reactivate when wet- they get muddy sometimes (see the right side of the first photo) and the ink from the pen is not always white as I would like (white bird's head in the forgiveness spread).

finally one day I went to the art supply store and bought stonehenge paper, acrylic inks and miskit. i soaked the paper and dropped ink on it. i used the miskit (a watercolor product sort of like rubber cement that acts as a resist then rubs off) to create the swirls and spirals and added layers of ink.

once i was happy with the background i photographed it and did something i have never done before (and i have done commissions)- i roughed out the piece for approval. not because d. asked, but because i was in uncharted territory and wanted to be sure i was on the right track. 

then i went back to the journal to work the flowers out. this also gave me something to do in that hotel room in lubbock......

and, finally home for a while, i got to work this weekend. first i divided the paper into 4 11x11 sheets. i started with white bird
moved on to the flowers. made adjustments. didn't feel quite right about the upper right corner. let it sit.

consulted with my studio assistant

decided white bird just needs someone to hear her, so here we are- the finished piece ready for its new home.

i can't wait to see how this is framed.
this commission was such a gift- i got to play and learned so much. d. was generous and understanding of the time it took to let it come to life. i gained confidence in my scribbles and doodles that i have brushed off as not being "art" for so long. i am proud of this and so grateful to d. for having me create it.
sing your song

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