Funny how fast this year has gone by so far. It was year ago this month I was writing about my first outdoor art show. This blog is not about outdoor art show, its about a commission I received in July 2013. Not so much about what I went threw to paint it, but what the commission meant to me.
I got a commission to create a painting from a very special person; Gail Stephens. She is the incredible person who gave us our most special friend Fenix. Yes, Fenix is a dog, more specifically an Australia shepherd. Gail is an artist too because the Aussies that come out of her kennel are the most beautiful,witty and friendly Aussies you will ever meet.
Gail commissioned me to do a piece that depicted her Aussies. That was a easy assignment; I just simply love Aussies. My first dog Norton was an Aussie and, as you know, my present dog Fenix is.
I found Gail and Nigel Stephens shortly after my most wonderful Norton pass away. There are not enough words to describe the pain of losing him. We lost him at 11 with no warning or signs. In one week my beautiful , active, and smart Norton was gone. I felt so ripped off losing him at 11. So I started to roam the internet trying to find out if that was normal age for an Aussie to die at. Well, to make a long story short I finally found Kirrabilli and Gail and Nigel Stephens. I went to their Rainbow bridge page and I saw a dog that reminded me of Norton; Cheddar. In fact Cheddar, another beautiful red-merle Aussie, had passed away the day before Norton did. He was the same age. I felt an instant connection to Gail and Nigel.
When I started painting, I took over the guest bedroom, which my husband hand just converted into an exercise room.The painting was too big paint in my studio. I started to paint in Sept of 2013 after I got approval for my drawing by Gail.
I painted off and on throughout the year and finally got it done in July 2014. It was a euphoric moment when I saw the finished piece . Every time I finish a piece I say to myself “So that is how you were suppose to look.” I have a plan for the piece, but the paint directs you in subconscious way to how it should look.
This painting to me was a tribute to the most wonderful Aussies that Gail and Nigel owned. The paint is also a tribute to Nigel since he passed away shortly after Fenix was born. It was my tribute to my love for Aussies because of Norton and now Fenix. It was an easy to picture to paint.
It took a long time, far too long ,but I got it done.
I was so afraid, like most artists, “Will Gail like it?” I doubted myself , but I also knew that there was not much more I could do for the painting . My confidence was raised when my family saw the piece. They were very sad to see the piece go, but the most important person to love the piece was Gail.
The day of unveiling finally came on, Aug,16,2014. Gail, without hesitation, expressed a very very pleased look. That, to me, was the greatest compliment anyone could have payed me.
I remembered why art is so important to me, yes it is nice to have money to pay your bills, but the contentment one gets from seeing my work means more then money, you have made a connection with another person. In at that moment I am no longer the observer but part of something very special