Sometimes, it’s truly a pleasure to take a break from flinging paint and plaster at walls and sit down before a canvas on my easel. I recently had two such projects. My first commission went as smoothly as any artist could wish. My client has a vacation home on Long Beach Island and was looking for large canvas pieces. After discussing the size of the walls, we settled for gallery wrapped canvases, measuring 30′ by 40″. I would paint the edges, eliminating the need to frame them.
What to paint? After reviewing literally hundreds of photos, the choices narrowed down to a particular stretch of beach and another view of the bay area. The dunes were easy to find reference pictures, but the advantage of having an artist design the scene is that it can easily encompass all the particulars that were important to my client. No one photograph could do that. These clouds, these waves, this angle of the bay where small ponds caught the reflecting blue in the sky. Add a slight touch of impressionistic painting, and voila! We have arrived.
Here are the two paintings, still at home in my studio. It was really hard parting with them.
As difficult as it was to hand them over to their owner, it was lovely to see them in their new home.
The second commission did not proceed as smoothly. It was a long and slow process, involving a lot of whining (Yep, whining) and it wasn’t me. The husband had been making noise about wanting his own mural for a number of years now. I’d put him off with a quick suggestion to write me a check and we’ll put in on the schedule and tell me what kind of mural you want. That’s right, exactly what you want, because my biggest fear is that it would be something I didn’t want to paint and even worse, that he might get bored with…we just don’t want to go there.
And just when we had all the makings for this getting ugly, Hans had an inspired thought. The doors to our laundry area. Previously they had been covered with a laminate that matched our kitchen cabinets. The glue had ceased keeping all the edges in place and with very little effort…off came the vinyl and bare doors made their appearance. A perfect canvas.
At this point, the subject matter had been very decisively chosen: one bald American Eagle.
And so the work began. Here’s the bifold doors with a coat of primer.
I did enjoy working at home. My daughter’s Lassie stopped by to observe and critique.
Here are the doors completed.
with closeups of Hans’ eagle and my fairy tale forest.
I am just starting to appreciate how this mural fills our home with its presence. Its about 6′ by 6″6″, but it creates such a huge mood that is just so pleasing to all of us.
It occurred to me that Hans had opened a whole new set of painting possibilities. Perhaps there’s a set of doors in your home that needs a little magic. I’ll share.