Several months ago, Husband contacted me and asked if I would create a special piece for their 50th Anniversary. He was going to send me some photos... due date way in the future.
I was in the middle of a really large corporate commission, so I didn't even take a peek at the photo[s] until I was getting close to starting.
This is what I found.
|Original size? About 8x10"|
I was in trouble.
Husband wanted a piece 16x20" - usually no problem. But it wasn't a close up. It was their wedding pic from 1964! Husband wanted both of them in the pic, veil, cake and all.
I was in BIG trouble.
Usually, a 16x20" portrait is a very close head shot.
I work from photos, and these were aged...faded...the colors were a little off. I couldn't see both of them as clearly as I would like.
I asked... can I just do a close up wife? [no]
Can I skip the cake? [I hope not]
Can I see some more photos? [sure]
Husband sent more pics.
I tried sketching, I tried painting. I wanted to say "uncle."
I wrote - I'm sorry, I can't do it.
Husband wrote me a short, but lovely note. It hit me in the heart. I suddenly felt even MORE connected to this couple. I studied their photos. She looks like a doll...so lovely. He looks so happy.
Alright... I'll do it.
|That's why they call it making Art the Agony and the Ecstasy|
It's too important.
I cropped the photo to this. I tried to amp up the colors.
I started, like always, with a sketch.
Is this going to work?
I painted, I cut paper, I got into it.
Suddenly, I felt like I was in the groove.
I looked forward to every day spent with the couple.
Parts of this portrait are really simple, parts are VERY complicated.
I kept going back and forth between their wedding photo and their portrait to be. I figured out what would work for me... and hoped they'd like it.
Here's the finished piece and some details. The majority is upcycled junk mail [like I do] and I used paper doilies to create the lace... some rhinestones for details in the veil [and ring]. I made a few color changes and a bit of paint to hopefully make the tulle more realistic. This is not in professional lighting...just a quick pic while still on the easel... sorry about the glare.
A challenge met is a real triumph. I'm very proud of what I created.
And, the happy couple is really happy, too. I was out of town when Husband received the finished piece. His note to me made me cry.
Say what you want about suffering for your art - making something with your heart and soul...with your own two hands - that has such a tremendous affect on another person[s] is what it's all about, baby.
I will forever be connected to this lovely couple who have a piece of me on their wall and I have a piece of them in my heart.