Thursday, November 17, 2011

Creative Vertigo


{finished}


She's finished!  At last!  A few months ago, a woman from my church asked me to create an identity portrait for her daughter (to learn more about my custom identity portraits, click here).  After we met and discussed what she wanted, I felt excited to begin . . . and then procrastinated working on the portrait for the next two months.  Deadlines are powerful motivators, however, and so after a few weeks of hard work, praying, and persistence . . . I finished the portrait!


I am really quite proud of how this turned out.  This is the first time that I've ever created a custom identity portrait for a person that I have not met, so it was quite a unique challenge -- and one that created more than a little stress.  On top of that, this commission was the first that I'd taken for which I charged the "full price" that I felt honored my work on the portrait.  I felt afraid that I wouldn't be able to deliver a product that was worth the price tag, and feared if my church friend felt my work was not worth the price that our relationship would be permanently damaged.


Really, I need not have worried, because I would never deliver a portrait that was not created with buckets of love, prayer, and attention (and, um, a hefty dose of perfectionism!).  And because I poured myself into this painting, lingering over the smallest details, of course it turned out well.  And not only well -- I love the finished product!  My favorite part of the process is watching the artwork unfold beyond your own plans . . . although that does involve a bit of creative vertigo along the way!


All that to say -- she's finished!  My latest identity portrait is finished, designed with my church friend's daughter in mind, created to encourage and uplift.  And not only is my church friend pleased, but I find that I am lifted up by the entire experience as well, vertigo and all.


Care to follow along with the process? Here's what happened:


{in progress}


{in progress}


{in progress}


{in progress}


{finished}


What an adventure!  I stitched this mixed media identity portrait together with with acrylic paint, watercolor crayons, graphite, marker, gel pen, lace, ribbon, paper flowers, ephemera, and, of course, lots and lots of love.




What has your latest [vertigo-inducing] experience been?

11 comments:

  1. Amanda Fall - PersistentGreenNovember 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Oh, she's beautiful! You are so brave for offering this kind of service...but it's well worth it, because you can offer such a meaningful, life-long gift to people. So worth the risk! I'm just sure the recipients will fall in love with this gorgeous piece.

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  2. Wow, she is beautiful! I think an identity portrait is a wonderful idea. What an amazing gift to give someone!

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  3. Thank you so much, Amanda and Stacie! Your sweet encouragements truly mean a lot to me. :)

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  4. I did a painting a few years ago for a friend and the process of setting a price and talking with my friend were the worst steps. She knew how much my paintings had sold for so I knew she wouldnt be shocked but it was still hard for me. I am so glad that this worked out to be a beautiful experience for you too. This is a very sweet painting. thank you for sharing whats in the studio with studio JRU

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  5. That really is brave - a commission for a church friend...tho' I do like her, and I love the idea of "identity" portraits...praying you get lots of new commissions!

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  6. Thanks, Cindy!

    Anna, I think the money part of this art making biz is always going to be hard for me...because it feels like such a gift to be able to MAKE art at all! But I know it'll be worth learning...thanks for your kind words!

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  7. This one is great!! Interesting to see your process. And progress :) Your works are getting reaallly good :)

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  8. How wonderful that you found me, because now I can follow your beautiful blog!!!

    Congratulations on the commission, your church friend is going to be so pleased it's a most beautiful portrait ... & I love the quote as well, I hear the song playing in my head right now! :)

    xo

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  9. Jennifer @ Studio JRUNovember 19, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    OH this is beautiful! Created to encourage and uplift makes a piece so much more. She will love it, I'm sure! What a wonderful gift. I love the words... I hope you dance. Thanks for sharing the steps. I love seeing a piece evolve liek that!

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  10. what a beautiful leap of faith this journey piece is- BRAVO!

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  11. I love your artwork and what an amazing story thank you for sharing! My sister is Rachel Stroud actually so found you off her yoga blog site!
    Thanks again!

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King