.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011
  commission

Now that this painting, Cloak #2 (commissioned through my Santa Fe gallery, Darnell Fine Art, for the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas) has been received by the hospital, and the word is that they love it, I feel free to discuss the process and personal story in more detail than I have up until now (I've put a photo or two on Facebook in the past couple of weeks, but have not written much.)

A commission of this size (it measures 5 ft. x 8 ft.) is a huge honor, and it was exciting and challenging (in a good way) to create...but it's also been, frankly, a bit nerve-wracking and I am now exhaling in relief after hearing of its safe arrival and positive reception in Texas. Helping to load it into the truck from the packaging company in late May, I imagined several disasters that could befall it. And even though I'd sent photos and had followed all the specified requirements (this one is based on an earlier painting, made to a specific size and horizontal orientation) I was still eager to hear that the client was pleased when it arrived.

Actually, the painting process went very smoothly from the first day I worked on the piece--my concerns were mostly logistical. Would the custom built panels arrive on time (travel plans already in place when I heard about the commission made studio time with the piece less than ideal)...and would they fit together correctly when bolted? How would I handle the painting physically since it is so large, and how would I handle any transportation needs of the finished work? Happily, all of these issues resolved in positive ways. The panels were a few days late, but because the process itself went so well, I ended up with plenty of time, and the guy who does my bolting was very pleased with how well they fit together (there are 9 separate panels in the piece.) My husband helped me each time the painting had to be moved in my studio, once it was bolted together and became awkward to manipulate. As for transporting it, I was able to get the piece to and from the woodshop in my Subaru wagon, by partially unbolting it, and the final aspects of transport to Texas were handled completely by my gallery. All I had to do was paint the painting, and by arrangement, the rest was taken over by the packing and shipping pros.

I have a few photos that illustrate the painting process. This first shot is the painting that the client chose as the basis for the painting, Cloak from 2006. I was pleased with this choice--it's a painting I really like, and I enjoyed revisiting the color choices in the main panel, which I had not used for several years. This photo is fairly degraded (it's from back when I did not understand digital photography at all!) but I had a fresh print-out to reference from the gallery. The colors in the main panel are actually very close to the way they turned out in the commissioned painting.




This is the very beginning, when I planned out how to arrange the panels. Because the proportions of color areas would be different from the original painting, when made larger, and the visual weight changed when it was viewed horizontally, I decided to break up the surrounding panels to add more visual interest.




This one was taken on the first day that the panels arrived, and I got everything covered with a layer or two of paint.



In this photo, all of the color areas have been established and somewhat developed, but it is far from done.



The process of making Cloak #2 was very different from my usual search and discover method of painting. I was rather surprised to find that my experience with layering color allowed me to successfully predict and carry out the underlying layers in a fairly logical and step by step manner. This was a bit of an eye-opener for me, because I do not choose to work this way normally and past commissions have not demanded this level of complexity. In this case, the expected end result was fairly clear, and I seemed to know how to get there. Because of the scale, and because I have learned a lot since painting the first Cloak, the surfaces of the new painting are far more intricate--which gave me a place to try new things, experiment and not simply copy my old work. This last photo is a close-up shot of an area in the lower white panels.



I definitely engaged emotionally with this commission, as I was constantly aware of where it would be hung. My father died of cancer eleven years ago, and numerous others in my life have been affected at one time or another. Currently, a dear friend is struggling along with Stage 4 cancer in various parts of her body. Above all I wanted to make a beautiful painting that would pull the viewer into a meditative state. A friend of mine, who saw the finished painting before it shipped out, commented that it made her feel happy to look at. I guess I could not ask for more.
 
Comments:
The painting is really a powerful piece. I have a friend who has been at MD Anderson off and on for treatment the past 2 years. I hear nothing but wonderful reports about the dedication of the staff. Your painting will be another part of the great healing that takes place there. Congratulations for that honor and for such a successful painting.
 
Hi Rebecca, a very special work,strong,bold,yet calming and peaceful.
enjoyed your process,
 
Thank you for sharing the journey of this commission. It is a valuable depiction of both the logistical and emotional work that was involved.
 
I'm delighted to see a photo of the commission piece and learn about your process in creating it. What a beautiful, calming painting. I'm certain it will be healing to all who see it.
 
I appreciate all these comments, thank you...
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

       www.rebeccacrowell.com




     September 2005 /      October 2005 /      November 2005 /      December 2005 /      January 2006 /      February 2006 /      March 2006 /      April 2006 /      May 2006 /      June 2006 /      July 2006 /      August 2006 /      September 2006 /      October 2006 /      November 2006 /      December 2006 /      January 2007 /      February 2007 /      March 2007 /      April 2007 /      May 2007 /      June 2007 /      July 2007 /      August 2007 /      September 2007 /      October 2007 /      November 2007 /      December 2007 /      January 2008 /      February 2008 /      March 2008 /      April 2008 /      May 2008 /      June 2008 /      July 2008 /      August 2008 /      September 2008 /      October 2008 /      November 2008 /      December 2008 /      January 2009 /      February 2009 /      March 2009 /      April 2009 /      May 2009 /      June 2009 /      July 2009 /      August 2009 /      September 2009 /      October 2009 /      November 2009 /      December 2009 /      January 2010 /      February 2010 /      March 2010 /      April 2010 /      May 2010 /      June 2010 /      July 2010 /      August 2010 /      September 2010 /      October 2010 /      November 2010 /      December 2010 /      January 2011 /      February 2011 /      March 2011 /      April 2011 /      May 2011 /      June 2011 /      July 2011 /      August 2011 /      September 2011 /      October 2011 /      November 2011 /      December 2011 /      January 2012 /      February 2012 /      March 2012 /      April 2012 /      May 2012 /      June 2012 /      July 2012 /      August 2012 /      September 2012 /      October 2012 /      November 2012 /      December 2012 /      January 2013 /      February 2013 /      March 2013 /      April 2013 /      May 2013 /      June 2013 /      July 2013 /      August 2013 /      September 2013 /      October 2013 /      November 2013 /      December 2013 /      January 2014 /      February 2014 /      March 2014 /      April 2014 /      May 2014 /      June 2014 /      July 2014 /      August 2014 /      September 2014 /      October 2014 /      November 2014 /      December 2014 /      January 2015 /      February 2015 /      March 2015 /      April 2015 /      May 2015 /      June 2015 /      July 2015 /      August 2015 /      September 2015 /      October 2015 /      November 2015 /      December 2015 /      January 2016 /      February 2016 /      March 2016 /      April 2016 /      June 2016 /      July 2016 /      August 2016 /      September 2016 /      October 2016 /      November 2016 /      December 2016 /      January 2017 /      February 2017 /      March 2017 /      May 2017 /      June 2017 /      July 2017 /      August 2017 /      September 2017 /      October 2017 /      November 2017 /

       Rebecca Crowell