For about a month I’ve been working on a commission or really mostly not working on a commission. A woman who has bought some of my small encaustic collage pieces over the years asked me to do a piece using her family photos. I accepted the commission and we talked a bit about what she likes about my work and size and price etc. For about 2 weeks I just had the photos propped up on my studio desk. These happy pony-riding faces stared back at me, but I struggled to get started. I use old photos in my collages all the time, usually I don’t know the people, they are just found photos, lost photos, abandoned photos, photos that I am drawn to, photos that are asking me to give them life and put them into my art. But now I had photos that had their own story and a client that held these people in her heart, this made me shy to impose my story on them. Of course the person who commissioned the piece wanted me to do something like the pieces she admired, that’s why she had me doing this…..well you can see why I was spinning and procrastinating. But last week I got down to business pulled out my portfolio of papers and box of ephemera and started laying things out stitching, gluing and waxing. When I was done I was pleased and of course I need to be pleased but really she needs to be pleased. So as I waited for her to arrive I paced my studio. This is a tricky situation, what if she doesn’t like it? What about getting paid for my time? all this is has me spinning again, but as soon as she saw the piece she let out an excited gasp, I knew the story I had woven through her real life story worked….and once again I was reminded to trust myself, do what I do best, take the puzzle and make art, tell a story.
Here are three small pieces I did while I wasn’t doing the commission.