I've had to leave the house to write this. If I'd stayed at home, my paintings would've sent me on a guilt trip had I neglected them for pen and paper, (or laptop)...and whilst I 'should' be dedicating this time to the canvas, it is such a beautiful 'almost Spring day' that I felt it would be unfair on me and on my art to let it pass without some sort of acknowledgement and perhaps a little basking. Besides, it has been such a long time since I have written in this way that I have been having withdrawals.
I did spend some time with a canvas this morning and promised it that I'd be back a little later to give it some more attention. Right now, this glorious day, and a mind full of thoughts, has mine.
I'm sitting with a glass of Pinot (noir)- a comfort for writing? It's been so long since I have sat alone with my thoughts like this in public that I almost need the glass to feel at ease in doing what I am doing... which only reconfirms my need to do it (write) more often... as I do not want it to ever feel awkward, forced or unnatural.
I've not had as much time to paint recently as I would ultimately like...although I perhaps have not been as productive as I could have (or should've) been in the time that I have had. I certainly do not believe it is laziness that has caused this though. I have felt very tired lately - physically and emotionally - and although it is no excuse, I am hoping that spring breathes rejuvenation into my productive and creative sector. The desire never fades; it just proves harder to pursue it at certain times.
Despite feeling very non-productive, I have still been producing work, the most recent being a commission for a work colleague - the painting being of and for his partner.
I don't often accept commissions but this request came at a time when I actually needed a little push to get me out of my productive 'lull'. It was also somewhat of a challenge, as it was my first piece/portrait of a 'non-Asian' model, (apart from self portraits), in my current and desired medium, other than myself, so it encouraged me to step outside of something that 'subconsciously' may have become a bit of a comfort zone.
Whilst working on the piece I actually had a number of new and fresh ideas that have now fuelled my excitement for what I do...and could do.
The most rewarding part of the whole experience was the reaction of the subject herself. I was thanked in a very emotional, teary and heartfelt way. Commissions, (for me), are/feel very different to my other work, but the one consistent thing I do with every piece that I produce is incorporate a big part of 'me'...including heart and soul. There is a passion that I pour into each piece and to have that passion acknowledged is always a wonderful delight, but in the case of a commission, it is not only a delight, but somewhat of a relief!
(For me), When I am painting a commission, I feel like someone is constantly watching over my shoulder with critical eyes, querying my choice of colour, composition, expression... Perhaps it is my own insecurities as an artist that creates, or allows, these feelings. Perhaps this applies not only in my art, but in my life. Either way, I feel it is a very different experience when I am working on a commission because ultimately, or at least 'in a sense', I am painting for someone else, whereas with my other work, I paint for me.