It’s time to share the completion of my latest commission. I delivered and installed the piece on December 6th, the anniversary of starting this blog ten years ago! I can’t believe how fast time has passed. This is the 938th post in 10 years. I used to post more regularly but at the time it was the only blog I maintained. These days I am devoting a lot of time and energy to the photoblog I launched on June 1st. Here is a link if you have not visited and clicked on the follow button.
Back to the commission: I met the newcomers to Parrsboro in July and by August Chris and I saw each other weekly during the rehearsals for the Ottawa House Dinner Theatre. He had come over with his wife to get measured for a vest I offered to sew for his part in the play. At the time Kim, his wife, fell in love with the work I create and within days I was asked if I would consider creating a commission for them. We connected in late September and agreed on a design and the size.
On installation day our short brainstorming session resulted in the title: “Leap of Faith”… it meets so many objectives. I took a leap of faith in creating the base fabric, they took a leap of faith in moving to Parrsboro (a place they had never even visited) and they took another leap of faith in commissioning me to create the feature piece for their living room.
The finished piece measures 48″ wide and 42″ high. The original design was created on canvas by layering acrylic pigments, manipulating translucent layers with brushes and ordinary construction tools, masking various areas with duct tape and Mactac and overlaying the entire piece with an opaque layer of acrylic fabric paint. This time I tried to recreate the original design but enlarging and meeting the overall scale successfully proved impossible. I decided to take that leap of faith and send a high-quality image to Spoonflower. I received the finished fabric (I selected cotton twill) within two weeks and was very pleased. I further enhanced the purple and red sections with Intense blocks. Once dry I added wool batting and painted 6 oz canvas for the backing. Machine-stitching the outlines of the larger designs stabilized the piece. Then the fun began: I spent about 140 hours of hand-stitching to add texture. A grid was created by machine to further stabilize the background. Finally, beads applied by hand completed the piece.
The clients never asked to see the progress I made. They granted me free reign once the basic design was approved. When creating a commission there is always some uncertainty associated with the process and I was somewhat nervous before presenting the finished piece. It was folded up vertically, the family gathered in the living room and as I unfolded the piece the immediate response was “I LOVE IT!” With smiles all around we installed the approved art and it was officially presented at their weekend open house to friends.
With my last studio work-related commitments for 2021 crossed off the to-do list, I am now able to turn my attention to tasks around the house. It’s our first Christmas in our new-to-us-home… A special ornament from a dear friend (thanks again, Tami D.) in Saskatchewan arrived a week ago and has found a prominent place on the tree. Baking can resume once our “little” plumbing problem (a fully plugged kitchen sink that always drained extremely slow since we moved in) is fixed. The issue is being addressed as I am typing this post.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, some quiet times and rest before the busyness during the last week before Christmas resumes. Enjoy, Anna