Satisfaction Guaranteed

Welcome to my current gypsy lifestyle!
I am in transition and some upheaval on all fronts in terms of where I live and where I paint. If you have a violin and 2 quarters change I will tell you the whole story. It is ALL good. However, the bottom line is that I just don’t have a studio set up right now nor anywhere to store art. Hence commissions.

A tale of a commission from this past summer:
Our friends and past neighbours of 30 years bought a cottage on an island on spectacular Stoney Lake. Actually Stoney Lake is everything you would imagine a Canadian lake would look like from seeing the Group of Seven paintings. This “cottage” deserves to be referred to in quotation marks because it is big and beautiful with every bell and whistle to make it rather fantabulous.

The living room had a long tall wall across from a wall of windows. The extended family was large and extremely active which led to the decision to decorate with art rather than clog the room with an armoire or large entertainment unit.

Seems like we both had a NEED. They wanted to make their new surroundings cozy and feeling finished AND I needed a reason to paint other than an art show. I suggested that we see if my satisfaction guaranteed art would fulfill their needs. I would get to paint 3 new pieces. I trusted my instincts to know what they might like and what would interest me to paint. If the finished paintings suited them and the space it was a win/win. Otherwise I would either try again to get the right result or keep the paintings myself. They were under NO obligation to accept the finished pieces. I wanted them happy. 100%.

Decisions, decisions…
Together we brainstormed some options that would work for subject matter for paintings and helped narrow the decision down to 3 choices to present to the larger extended family. We put newspaper up the size that the paintings would be to see if they would “hold” the space adequately.

Getting ideas:
Here is one of several shots I took from right outside their door:

Then I got to work sketching:


And painting in the boathouse:

I set up beside the canoe and life-jackets. It wasn’t optimal because the light was terrible and I kept bumping into marine equipment and random tools but at least I got to P A I N T.

The final result:
A thumbs up all round for the finished artwork. The paintings worked well for the Stoney Lake cottage and arrived in time for the family to enjoy them during the last days of summer. I was satisfied that I had some painting time and a chance to dream about new studio space.

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