There is nothing better than having a client come back for a second or third commission! It’s affirmation that what I’ve done in the past has been what they’ve wanted and that they continue to trust me in capturing more of their special personal memories.
Thank you to all the dear people who have trusted me to capture memories. I love being a part of your journey. Here’s one that stemmed from a three part series last spring, that I’m excited to share with you all.
This time of year is such a special time for our family. Trying to teach our children not to get caught up in the commercial Christmas has its challenges. I’m so fortunate to work for people who give with compassion in mind. People who see the deep hurt felt by others in a season where so many are celebrating. It’s a season where loss can be felt the most.
This season I was humbled to paint three commissions all to be given by my clients to family or friends who had experienced loss that would make another season of giving, or a first without a special friend, incredibly difficult.
The givers of these gifts have shown great compassion and love, they have given in a way that speaks to the Heart of what the season is about.
They have said “I know your pain, I will walk with you through it, and ultimately I love you”
Now those may not have been their actual words but their hearts spoke to me in that way.
In this season of love I just wanted to shear their hearts with you.
I’m grateful, because you allow me to show my children that Christmas can be what it was intended to be.
When a person has put 10 years into a ministry and moved away from many of their children to serve others how does their church family say “thank you” for those ten year?
A commissioned painting of course! A painting of the 7 little blessings that all arrived within the past 10 years of ministry, a painting of Gods tangible love, of grandchildren of course.
There is something exciting and stressful about delivering a commission to a client. The joy of finishing is always there, but that nagging feeling of “will it be what they had in mind? “, and “will it bring them the same joy it gave me while I was painting it?” “Did I capture the essence of what was shared by the client” and the most ridiculous concern “Is it to big to fit in the car with three children?”
All these questions and insecurities play out each time delivery day approaches. Today was delivery day, no matter how much prayer goes into the process I always have the butterflies on delivery day.
This time I was entrusted with capturing the essence of a marriage venue. The place where a new family began . Ironically on the same day my own husband and I took our vows just a few years earlier.
My heart sings now with this kind of responsibility. That God would allow me to paint others memories is such a gift to me. And yet I feel a huge sense of responsibility, which is why praying has become so important to me in the process.
For this painting I didn’t have complete piece when I sent a preview of the final piece to the couple, and was pleased to have feedback for one final detail, a small detail, but for them something that encapsulated the vision and memory of the day. I think I new it needed something else, but couldn’t put my finger on it. The venue was a small chapel on a vineyard, however I had not referenced any of the vineyards vines. So with a few brush strokes, that evening finally felt confident in the final piece, and ready to deliver.
I’ll post both versions of it for you to see for yourselves, a little change but one that made the difference between a nice painting and a personal one.
Always happy to finish a commission, and for the first time in 20 years I needed to find a framer. I was fortunate enough to have a genuine friendship with the same family run business since in my late teens, even at one point working in there shop. They recently retired, and I’m so happy for the, but now I had to hunt for someone local to do a double header within the week! Thankful to have found a great little shop not far away at all. Here are the finished painting.
From what I’ve heard they were received well. Always love feedback from clients when it’s a gift for someone I’ll never meet. I figure, if there are happy tears I’ve done my job, and put my heart into it.
This commission had only two stipulation. “I want something big, that will tie the window valance in with the room.” I’d say that leaves endless possibilities.
I think this painting went in at least three directions before I finally found my compass. Everything came together, though entirely different than what I’d first envisioned.
So after a couple commissions it’s always good to regroup with a personal project. Love always inspires. I find when I paint just to paint, I get an adrenaline rush that allows me to prepare for the next commission.
Now each of my loves has a spot on the wall!
You can see someone’s heart through their smile.
When someone comes to you with a commission to capture the essence of a person you’ve never met, a person you will never have the privilege of meeting, you have to go with what is shared with you.
I was honoured this past week to create a portrait of a dearly loved grandmother, with a smile that spoke her heart. As we went through the photo references I was given, I could hear in the description how special a woman I was going to be responsible for capturing, from her garden, to her special chair, to her smiling eyes…there is nothing like a love story, in any form to inspire. I pray and I paint and I pray again. Then I hope it brings joy.
Once the kids are settled in bed and the last kiss is given I bolt to my canvas and get to work. Some days I can’t wait for nap time or bedtime routine just so I can escape to the basement and paint. Tonight I had the pleasure of Jeff playing his acoustic guitar on the couch while I painted, I always enjoy his playing. There is something about an acoustic guitar in the background (sigh). Here is the update I promised, it’s not finished, but I likely won’t post another as it’s really just my signature I’m waiting on. I never sign till I’ve sat a couple days staring at a piece to be sure it’s not asking for anything else.