Last month I had a commission for one of my tea cosy dolls. They wanted one based on SCTV’s Edith Prickey. This was a bit different then my standard “Granny” tea cosies and I had a fun time watching videos of Edith. I even rediscovered an old one I saw hundreds of times when my youngest was a toddler “Put Down the Ducky”! Eventually this is what I came up with:
Edith Prickley Tea Cosy
Interestingly on the art forum that I frequent there were some long discussions on doing commissions. Many people felt that doing them was a form of “selling out” , that some how ones art was corrupted by it being requested and paid for. For me I have always felt it was a compliment, someone saw my art and wanted something special just for them. That they trusted my artistic vision and hoped I would be inspired by their requests. I have always seen it as a way to look beyond my own little box, to get inspired by something I hadn’t thought about. I have rejected commissions in the past though, ones that wanted me to do exact duplicates of things, and no, I will not make a caricature of your boss. But as long as I have the artistic control, it is a fun thing to do. Yes I can get inspired by that shade of blue you love, or that picture of your grandmother, that scrap of fabric, or that memory of your heritage.
After my breakthrough in July of conquering the blank page, it took me weeks to dare to face the blank page again. Not only a blank page but A Good Quality Paper Blank Page! Ack no I will waste it! It won’t be Museum Quality! Shut up voices, I journaled about you enough times that I am Sick Of YOU! Shut Up!
The first thing I tried was chalk pastel and a photo of my youngest daughter putting on make up for a vintage fashion show. I did this outside on my upper deck because it was such nice weather.
Next I tried a self portrait. This was more challenging. The model kept moving, taking and putting on her glasses. Very annoying, don’t think I will hire her again LOL. All the pieces are there, they just don’t seem to be assembled in the same way as on the model. They are 12 X 16.
It was fun but as I was finishing this piece I noticed I had been coughing and my asthma was acting up. I suddenly clued in to the amount of dust generated by the chalk pastels. It hadn’t been a problem before as I had been working outside. This was very saddening, another technique I was going to have to give up for my health. Resentfully I put the pastels away.
But in the drawer I also had some oil pastels, ones my granddaughter had left behind, the only problem was that half of them were missing – especially all the “flesh” tones and intermediate shades. So I picked up a box of very cheap ones and fuelled by my anger of giving up the lovely expensive chalk pastels I ripped through a series of, never again to see the light of day, sketches to learn how to handle these F-ing things.
The cheap ones were really a pain so I put them aside and started really focusing on what the good ones could do. The first is again based on a photo of my daughter at a scifi convention in a fairy/elf costume. The next one is based on a photo an forum friend posted. They are 9 X 12.
Come hither to the ferns
One of the reasons I wanted to play with this is that I am going back to Edmonton next week. I don’t want to drag a suitcase with body parts and yarn and beads with me again. Plus when I get back I am going to the local sci fi convention Con*Cept So I am hoping to have some things for the art show since I won’t have time for making costumes.