My life is happily entwined in art whether it be the many subjects I paint, classes, retreats and art tours I host and run or exhibitions I hold.
However, there is one side to my art that is something quite special. For many years now I have painted special commissioned paintings.
These are what I call my true "paint from the heart" pieces.
At the top of the list are portraits painted of loved ones who have passed.
It is such an honour to be asked to paint something that means so much to a family. It is an amazing feeling when I start one of these portraits, usually after weeks of letting ideas sit in my mind while I think about how I will go about it.
Sometimes I know a lot about the person and other times it is just a photo emailed with a request to paint with minimal knowledge of the person or any of the circumstances.
In this case, I rarely ask any details and just “sit” with the photo for quite some time. I don’t know how naff this sounds, but I often get the feeling that these paintings almost paint themselves as the image of the person seems to just appear on the canvas. I know that I am holding the brush, but my mind tends to go to another place in the painting process.
Indeed quite often I stand back at the end of the day’s painting and wonder who painted it! I guess as quite often happens when being engrossed it can be almost like meditating.
But quite often I feel the presence. I acknowledge it and quietly say ‘hello.'
Places to Remember
Then there are the paintings of place that mean something. A place where happy times are spent.
Perhaps a family home or property that means so much to someone. Or a much-loved pet.
A recent painting of a northern beaches wharf venue for a wedding, commissioned as a gift for the bride and groom, was a total delight to paint.
Close to my heart
Ah, and close to my heart has been a large commission of paintings for a new home with the theme of birds and nature. Still ongoing it has been a lovely subject to paint.
These paintings have evolved one by one, over months of liaison with the client, and each has been quite an uncanny experience.
I often get pictures in my mind as I discuss paintings with a client and these especially have been very strong images.
Two paintings that were done a couple of years apart, for a couple who live overseas, have been a standout.
These two paintings were a commission for the babies as they arrived and are of Sydney scenes to remind them of home.
I loved painting these.
Yes, there are many stories to tell about my special commissions.
The reactions are amazing, and when delivered in person, can be emotional.
Some will just remain lovely memories.