Thursday, August 27, 2015

New formal commissions!

Wow!  I can't believe I am up to day 27 today!  The time has passed so fast.  I am really enjoying this project and it is so incredibly special to have a new person to paint every day.  This is actually heaven for me.  If I got to do this every day for the rest of my life, I would die a very happy woman.  LOL ... okay ... put the brakes on that romanticized thought.

I do want a couple days off in the midst of it ... and I would like to take each and every one of these paintings into the stage of being a formal portrait.  Okay ... I guess I might have to take that statement back, my other side is kicking in.  In fact during the last 10 days that I have missed posting, I have actually contracted to paint five more formal paintings after this.  I am so very excited to paint the cutest little girl by the name of Avery.  She is 18 months old.  I have just gone through the few hundred photos that I took of Avery at her Grandpa's home on the river.  There are some very adorable pictures and now my job is to create 3 small "color studies" showing what the large painting will look like in a very impressionistic small study.  Then, the parents and grandparents will get to choose which painting will suit their needs best.  And I will begin.  I hope to have those done by the first week of September.

After that, I have four more paintings to paint for a local Native American Indians Band.  I have been painting portraits of their tribal elders for the last few years and this with be the 9-12th portraits I am commissioned to do for them.  I don't post much about this nor the photographs of the finished portraits because of their privacy.  Even though I wish I could; I feel these are some of my best work.

I love working with them and really enjoy the business they hire me to do.  Each of these people that I paint become a sort of spirit that I get to embrace for a while and it is a wonderful job to have.  But, I have to tell you how they found me... it started somewhere between 1995-2001 when a 17 year old boy came into my gallery, then Baldwin Gallery in Fair Oaks Village.  Daniel said that he knew then he wanted to have me paint a portrait for him and told me so.  I guess I let him know that would be expensive.  LOL.  That sounds like something I would say in the presence of a young lad that I knew I couldn't help at that point.  Now, fast forward to four years ago, or so.  His assistant calls and sets up a meeting to interview me for a portrait of Daniel's grandmother.  As they are arriving, Daniel tells her "No, turn left. (pointing to the village) That's where she was."  His assistant says, "Let's visit this one first and then we will go over there."  As I am going through my portfolio with them, talking about what I can do, Daniel sits back and says "You're the one!"

I love synchronicity.  It shows up all the time in my life and I take it as something that is a God send and meant to be.  I honor these moments and the experience that is brought because I feel it is what I am supposed to be doing.  I have since done 8 tribal elders and I feel like I know each one intimately.  In the mean time, I am learning more and more about the culture and ways of my now extended Native American family in spirit.

I am a sixteenth Cherokee, I am told.  Although, Grandpa used to tease me by saying we are Blackfoot because I never wore shoes as a kid.

Each of these "Formal" portraits will take me 30 to 40 hours a piece over a period of 4 to 6 weeks.  Some will be done simultaneously at different stages in order to get them all done in time.  In contrast to what I am doing for the 31 in 31 "study" portrait, the formal portraits are finished to the very last detail with many hours studying the bone structure, and making sure that I have every possible detail in the painting to ensure that I have a pleasing and flattering portrait that really represents the person in the best way.

I can't wait to get started...  

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