I think I've mentioned before that I have a harder time creating something when there are "outside" limitations imposed on me. For example, the themes and color palettes used for the "play along" pieces I do with the Twelve by Twelve group. Also, years ago I tried some fabric challenges (where you are given a specific fabric to work with) and those where really hard for me. I decided I would not participate in any of those again.
Size restrictions are sometimes hard. I definitely have a harder time with a square format, which is what the Twelve by Twelve group uses and I have yet to adhere to. I have done some square pieces but most of them just started with a square and I started playing with fabric to fit on the square.
So, creating sketches for a commission piece was quite challenging for me. Some of the reasons why?
1) The patron wants a square piece.
2) The patron wants bright colors (I usually tend toward earthy colors)
3) The patron wants a piece with "high energy" (In many of my pieces I am trying to go for a calm effect).
4) I don't know the patron personally or his likes, except for the picture of the painting.
5) The patron wanted something abstract (maybe meaning more like non-objective)
6) The patron wants a minimum size of 3 ft. by 3 ft. (I don't usually work that large. But I was thinking not too long ago that I should try a really big piece just to see what it is like. How serendipitous that an opportunity to make a large piece arose!)
After seeing that, you may wonder why he approached me at all. I wondered the same thing, but he must have seen something in my work he liked. He did say he wanted me to do my own work.
I was trying to think of where I could possibly start since I didn't have any ideas. What I decided to do was look through some of my photos hoping that I could get inspiration that way. I poured over our photos on the computer, printed some out, racked my brain, obsessed, looked through books and did many, many thumbnail sketches to try to come of with just a few I thought would be good enough.
From our first meeting until our meeting where I was to present my sketches, I had about three weeks. Almost an entire week of that time was when I was away for my college reunion. I brought sketch books, pencils and photos with me hoping I would be able to work on it, but I could not.
Below you can see some of the thumbnails and sketches in progress.
Next installment: finalizing sketches.