Saturday, 26 December 2009

Commissioned Paintings

With the aim of trying my hand a a wide range of disciplines in this module I decided to try my hand at painting again. Both of my parents have been badgering me for a while to paint them pictures but despite being offered money I've just been too lazy to actually go out, buy the canvases and paints, then actually sit down and do them - a shockingly poor excuse. But under the umbrella of 'christmas presents' I managed to pluck some sort of motivation.

I know this is a very vague idea of a 'brief' but I still think it's relevant to the Visual Language module - the whole point is that I find some sort of personality as a designer and who's to say that painting/fine art isn't a part of that?

My mam wanted a big canvas of 'something pretty' to go in her newly decorated sitting room. She already has some floral photographs on her walls so I assumed that she wanted to stick with that sort of theme. The room is decorated in teal blue, light grey and black trimmings so my colour scheme had to incorporate that. I started scribbling some simple flower drawings down and within about 10 minutes I knew the sort of thing I was going to paint and this is the outcome:

My mam seems to really like it and it goes well in the sitting room and it is really pretty but if I'm honest I got no sense of satisfaction out of painting this image and I couldn't quite figure out why. It made me feel indifferent and didn't really help me to understand my relationship to painting any better..

I'd already determined in my head that I was painting my dad a canvas for Christmas without considering any other possible gift options and so it was only at the last minute I realised I hadn't actually ever asked him what it was that he wanted. I don't know exactly what I was expecting him to say but I'm telling you right now it definitely wasn't this...

Yeah guys that is Valentino Rossi wearing a helmet depicting Donkey from Shrek. Errrrmmmm and I was expected to paint this??? I used to be a dab hand with a paintbrush back in school but I think this was a tad optimistic.. Having already accepted the fact that this was never going to end well and pre-warning my dad not to get his hopes up I bought a canvas with the logic 'you never know if you don't try'.

I drew it out. So far so good. Painted my first square inch. Not so bad. Nine hours later I had myself a masterpiece on my hands! It's by no means perfect but safe to say I'm fairly proud of myself.

Despite having studied art all through my education and receiving consistently high grades I've never considered myself to be a 'fine artist'. I do love it, and I think I'd be quite good at it but I could never really commit to it because of the stigma of job insecurity. I don't think I have enough confidence in myself to erect a career solely from my own creative output - which I now ironically realise is the case across all design disciplines but I think as an artist there is so much more pressure.

Because of my initial apprehensions towards this image I now feel a much stronger sense of achievement. I produced an image based on someone else's requests rather than my own and because a lot of the creative responsibility had been taken away my main concern was to focus on the quality of my painting. This was something I never, ever, in a million years, would have done off my own back and this made it challenging for me. I think when we are challenged it provokes us to do our best.. now I just need to apply this logic to the rest of my briefs!

1 comment:

alanna said...

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