While we are stuck in the Coronavirus lockdown, that everyone thought would last three weeks but has lasted eight so far..and still counting…I’ve mostly spent my time working on garden projects, partly for the fresh air and exercise, partly to get the garden growing for the coming season, and partly to put some colour into it as the people who lived in this house before us just kept it as grass and trees, and I am a keen gardener who takes pleasure from looking at shape and diverse colour in my outdoor space.
Depending on how the garden projects progress, and how much longer the lock down lasts, depends on what sort of art I will get around to painting in the future.
Having said that, I am always open to conversation about commissions, and was delighted that one came in about two weeks ago..and even more delighted when I knew what it was going to be of! Because I’ve not done one of these for a few years…
The woman who asked me to do the commission is someone I met a couple of years ago, and sometimes see to have a catch up chat about all sorts of subjects. But because of the Coronavirus lockdown I’ve not seen her socially of course, I’ve not seen anyone socially for weeks. The request for the commission came online, as its the usual way of the world communicating at the moment, and we had our discussion regarding it that way, re the colours required (her choices were Mahogany reds, mustards, golds, and browns) and I had to ask her to provide the source photo, which she did a few days later, and I congratulated her on the clear photo which was perfect for me to paint from.
And the subject she had asked me to paint??
It was a “Queynte” from my “Fantasy Fanny” collection of abstracts, the very personal feminine portraits (but not of the women’s faces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) that I adore doing, as they are such bright vibrant paintings empowering to women, and beautiful to see. They are the ultimate art joke to me, as they are anatomically correct but the colours are so exaggerated to all colours of the rainbow (or a specific colour range if the client chooses to have that to match their bedroom, because these are the ultimate bedroom pictures!!) so that when people see them they think they are just abstracts, and its only when they look closer at them that they might think that they are indeed fanny paintings, but if they dare to say so, the owner of the painting can act all outraged at such a thought, whilst secretly laughing to themselves that the viewer is actually looking at the most personal of body parts!
The client wanted the painting on a block canvas with the painting being painted down the sides. I drew out the image from the photo, and then merged the colours and tones to create the abstract part of the painting, and made colour notes of which aspects I wanted to have which particular colours. But I didn’t want to be too specific of exactly how the painting would turn out, as part of the joy of being an artist is when the art takes over and the colours flow from the brush. These paintings are all in acrylics which means that I can get bright colour on quickly and fast, I don’t need to wait for parts of it to dry, and if some parts need the colour deepening I can do that quickly enough when the first coat has dried, and paint around the edges of the canvas at one end whilst the other end is drying..! And of course these Queynte paintings all have the woman logo hidden within the folds, as a reminder of what the subject is about. This one is called “Queynte 23” as it is the twenty-third one of these I have painted. They are anonymous in name, as the women who pose for them are not named, by me. Some will choose to tell the world its theirs, but that is their decision.
I love this painting, as I love all of these paintings, I put a lot of myself into these pictures. And when I sent the client the photo of the painting by text the message came back “I love it!” which was exactly the reaction I was hoping for!! Happy client, and happy artist!
She had already paid me for the picture by the time she came to collect it the following week..and we had to do something that I have certainly never done before in all my years as an artist, I had to hand it over to her using social distancing! She had come to my house and we stood on the drive chatting, and then since she had an hour before she had to leave we sat in the garden with a good six feet between us chatting about lots of things, like we usually do when we meet, and even though it was so strange to keep our distance, it was so nice to be sociable. I’d missed it. I’d also missed talking about art, and people, and life, to someone who I like and who has a similar viewpoint to me. That is what conversation is all about, the flow of subjects, watching peoples faces for reactions, and listening to their viewpoint, and adding something of your own. The joy of friendship!
And I will add to that, when I woke the following day, I was more cheerful than I have been for a while, and I know that most of that reason was the being an artist again, doing a commission again, doing a Queynte painting again as they are unique to me, being in conversation again, and enjoying being a friend in real life again….