Currently I have two portrait commissions on my plate. Lucky you , you say? Yes and no. Like winning an award in an exhibition, being asked to do a commission is validation that I must be doing something right. It is an honor to be asked to create a lasting memory of someone’s loved one. There is also the pressure involved in such an endeavor. Throughout the process I constantly ask myself ‘Are they really going to be pleased when this is finished? Am I capturing the subject’s likeness enough to please the family? Am I capturing the essence of that person so that the family can identify with my vision? ‘
Therein lies the angst. One of the current commissions has a time constraint. It will be a surprise birthday gift for someone. Oooh, more pressure. Thankfully my buyer agreed to a pastel pencil drawing rather than anything involving color. I was given a month to complete this drawing and allow time for framing! The preliminary compositional sketch has been approved and I am on my way! The clock is ticking!
The joy comes from the possibility that I may be making some woman very happy. I am combining three photos of three separate family members into one drawing. This woman’s father died very soon after she was born so she has never known him. What this woman has missed in her life! I empathize having had my own daughter lose her dad when she was just two. Perhaps this empathy will help me with this commission. I so want to create a piece that this woman will treasure for the rest of her life. She may not have known her dad but perhaps this will give her some peace and comfort in some small way. You will have to stay tuned on the outcome as I won’t post any photos or more information regarding this particular commission just in case…..don’t want to ruin any surprises.
Commission number two will be a challenge. There is no timeline on this one but I do want to complete it in a reasonable amount of time. I have been asked to do an oil portrait of a thirteen year old young man. His mom wishes to capture that precious time between childhood and manhood. Hopefully I will be able to capture that moment for her. Progress to come!