Another year over…

Bamford (private commission) – acrylic on canvas, 150 x 305 mm, 2015
Bamford (private commission) – acrylic on canvas, 150 x 305 mm, 2015

This small canvas was my last commission of 2015 ~ and it was a wonderful way to end the year. When I was asked to paint this version of my little stick figure illustration, I had no idea how it would look (given that the original figures were ink drawings on paper). I needn’t have worried. This painting now has pride of place on my new Commissions page.

Wishing everyone a happy and creative 2016 : )

Pass it on

Catching Fire (private commission) — acrylic on canvas, 75 x 100 cm, 2015
Catching Fire (private commission) — acrylic on canvas, 75 x 100 cm, 2015

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” Albert Einstein

This is the large painting commission I mentioned a few weeks ago. It made its way safely across the Tasman last month and has taken up residence in a creative space in Melbourne.

Catching Fire, detail
Catching Fire, detail
Catching Fire, detail
Catching Fire, detail

By the time you’ve finished, you’ll know how to do it

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One of the biggest challenges I faced when painting the ‘Sign of the Times’ triptych was writing the words legibly forwards and backwards. It took a bit of trial and error before I figured out the best way of doing it was to print copies of my handwritten and scanned words (i.e. using my inkjet printer) having first worked out their position and size in Photoshop, paint over the letters and use the painted paper to ‘print’ the writing on the canvas. I filled in any gaps in the letters by hand with a brush. By the time I’d finished, as is so often the way, I knew exactly how to do it.

‘Sign of the Times, Sonya’s Landscape’ — acrylic on canvas, 2015
‘Sign of the Times, Sonya’s Landscape’ — acrylic on canvas, 2015
Sign of the Times — the mirror image
Sign of the Times — the mirror image

Sign of the times

Sign of the Times, Sonya’s Landscape — acrylic on canvas, 20” x 30” each canvas, 2015
Sign of the Times, Sonya’s Landscape — acrylic on canvas, 20” x 30” each canvas, 2015
Sign of the Times — the mirror image
Sign of the Times — the mirror image (i.e. as seen in the salon mirror)

Here, at last, are photographs of the commission I painted a few weeks ago for Sonya’s hair salon. We put the paintings up this afternoon and we’re really pleased with how they look. There’s a photo of Sonya with her paintings in the slideshow below.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the inspiration came from the salon, from nearby Barrington Park and the Cashmere hills, and of course from Sonya herself. Prince’s purple love symbol was a last-minute addition that Sonya requested and although it wasn’t part of the original composition, now I can’t imagine the paintings without it — I like the way it transforms the landscape from something abstract into something more personal.

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Mirror image

Triptych composition sketches
triptych composition sketches
Mirror image of the sketches
mirror image of the sketches

I have finally completed the commission I mentioned in a post about a month ago: an abstract landscape triptych for the owner of a Christchurch hair salon. Sonya (who is a bit of a genius when it comes to cut and colour) is changing the name of her business from ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ to ‘Sign of the Times’ (yes, she is a huge Prince fan) and wanted to mark the occasion with a significant artwork ― ‘significant’ in both senses of the word.

Sonya told me that I could paint whatever I wanted ― the only guidelines were size (to fit a large area above the door), colour (grey and orange, to match the colours in the salon), and for it to include the new business name and symbol. And it had to be a surprise. Sonya didn’t want any WIP images… nothing until it was finished! Oh and it needed to look good in the mirror too. No problem!

I opted for an abstract landscape because I thought that would be a suitable background for the words and symbols. Quite a lot of my inspiration came from the salon’s location near Barrington Park (in the photographs below):

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We did make one final (and fairly major) change to the triptych before calling it ‘finished’ but I can’t show you the paintings until we’ve put them up in the salon and that won’t be until October 1st. Sorry for the long wait. I have, however, just started another painting…

Update: The paintings are now in the salon (a little ahead of schedule). Visit this post to read more…