Hi there, just wanted to give you a sneak peak and share the story of this commission piece I received last summer and thankfully the couple are friends of ours and there was no deadline. I am sure they probably regretted saying that to me after all this time however, haha.
They handed me a bag of memorabilia from a trip to Japan they took many years ago and basically said “Here, do your thing”. No guidelines, no colours, no timeline? Most artists would love this but as I had a bag of precious momentos I was to create with, I was honoured and terrified all at the same time.
I started with putting the easiest thing down first, newspapers. I love the look of them and didn’t have to cut them up.
I then dry brushed over them with a teal paint and added purple and white circles over top.
Then my large scale wall panel that I use as a stencil with the Liquitex Spray Paint (which is great because you can use it indoors and it doesn’t smell).
Next came using their ticket stubs for the tree trunk. Then, I got stuck… for months and months it sat there. This huge piece that sat in my dining room staring at me every time I walked by it in this ugly stage that I couldn’t get past. Quietly urging me to take it out of it’s misery. To make matters worse, I had a kids birthday party at the house and I had to get it off the floor to protect it and the only place that was big enough for it was above my couch in the living room. Which put it in my sights even more.
I finally decided to take control and bring it into the shop to force myself to get past the ugly. I started working on the smaller branches and finally started to get excited about it again as it was finally starting to resemble the vision I had for it.
But alas, this didn’t last long as I started getting to the more personal stuff which I knew I needed to really cut into. The hotel bills with their names on it, the e-mails about the trip, the little notes back and forth on things. I felt a little bit like a voyeur but I realized that this time in their life was when their love blossomed and I am one of the lucky ones that got to witness it unfolding (without actually having been there). I was already a huge fan of them both but it made me adore them that much more. It was pretty cool but the guilt of cutting it up started to set in. Luckily, the two of them happened to pop by the store, genuinely seemed to like the progress so far and insisted I keep going. After all, that is why they gave it to me. They wanted it out so they could see and enjoy it as opposed to it sitting in a drawer for years.
Of course I had to do a cherry blossom tree because it was a trip to Japan and I turned the rest of the ephmera into flowers. I mixed them up with traditional Japanese papers as well.
In the middle of the tree trunk I wanted to add S + L in a heart but not all letters in English translate to Japanese. Most translate into sounds and others don’t exist at all so instead I used the symbol for LOVE.
Red is very much a colour associated with Asian cultures as it corresponds to fire (one of the earth elements), symbolizes good fortune and joy. Which is why I chose to outline all the flowers with it but I used a Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam Paint because it is semi-opaque and you can still see all of the writing underneath. I also got to use the coins they brought back for some of the centers.
What’s next? Put a bird on it (or two). Scott who can talk to just about anyone is the more outgoing of the two so consequently has an open beak while Liz is the quiet strength behind the couple.
Here is the finished piece I entitled “Blossoming Love”. It seems far away because it is huge (yes, that’s what she said, haha)
I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed getting to know them better and making it for them.