Working on My Biggest Commission (So Far)
This year I've been lucky enough to work on few commissions but definitely the most challenging one was a big piece for a friend's new home.
To begin with, working on commission is completely different from working for yourself where I can make whatever I you want to make without any input or influence from others.
Making a work of art for yourself is solo act; producing a work of art on commission for someone else is a partnership between you and that person.
I will always remember when I had to paint on the balcony (back in Italy), or when I first moved to Dublin and didn't have any space and had to get creative in the carpety living room.
So now I feel like the luckiest artist ever to have my studio-kingdom, it's tiny but perfect.
I never realised how small my studio was until I brought in the 3 canvases 65x100cm (26x40in) for this commission.
Few months back, with my favourite builder (AKA husband), we built a table for the studio and it worked magics as it was long enough to support the 3 canvases, while giving me space to move around the studio.
I used clamps to keep the canvases together, pretty handy trick!
The request was to use loads of red/orange and golden details.
I painted the first 2/3 of the piece in 5 hours in one painting session. Sometimes the process can't be interrupted and you have to just go with it. And that was the easy part.
Painting a big piece is physically challenging, it requires your whole body to paint along with your hand and your brain.
Colours were blending perfectly on the canvas, my sponges were taking me exactly where I wanted to go and I was listening to the perfect playlist.
Day 2: It never goes as planned.
Once I poured the paint - acrylic dries up pretty fast - there was a very short amount of time I had to work it across the canvas.
It’s a balance of leading the paint in the right direction and letting it do what it’s going to do.
I was too close to the canvas and I couldn't see the whole piece, I felt like I needed time to let the whole piece adjust to me, and vice-versa, I needed to adjust to the canvas.
I let it sit in the studio for one week, I knew where I wanted to go, I just needed time.