Friday, April 9, 2010

Yaaaa-that's what I'm talking about-happy customers

Color sketch for "The Parkin Mansion".  Sorry-I had to take the picture while under glass

Not everyone will want to pick up on this tip but for those of you that are serious about making your customers happy a color sketch before starting the real thing is a wise choice.  It will even save you some, "But I don't like it"(said in a whiny voice), grief.  That equals to, in the long run, time saved, essentially.  When I really became serious about commissions I decided to take this upon myself.  I did a very simple color sketch and went over it with a client to get their thoughts.  The one that I've included in this post is the sketch I've done for "The Parkin Mansion"-which is really the "Christmas Box" house.

"The Parkin Mansion".   I have cards as well as prints of this for sale on Etsy (see link)

For those of you (2 in America) that don't know about that book it was a NY Time bestseller by Richard Paul Evans and made into a movie with Maureen O'Hara (hey, she means a lot to the Baby Boomer Gen.).  Anyway, he didn't like the carriage that I had put in the painting.  Now think if I had done the final painting without consulting him and then had to take it off?  Carriages wouldn't be a skip in the park as far as creating them on canvas.  It only took me a small amount of time to do the color sketch carriage-so, no grief here when I banished it from the finale.  As it turned out he liked the painting enough to hang it by his desk in his office (last time I saw) and I went on to do 2 more paintings for him.  It was an incredible experience.  Any of you want to hear more about it-just let me know and I'll tell you about it in a post.  It was just miraculous, no kidding.

Art History Moment:  These are mosaics that Gaudi did in Barcelona and they are unbelievable.  You painting guys-look there's a whole new world of art to explore out there! As I said in previous posts, I did a lot of broken china mosaics last year.  For the few left brainish artists in the world-me for one-that love jigsaw puzzles, well, I can guarantee that you would love to do it.  It's so much fun and one of those things that you go into the studio for 5 minutes and come back out after 2 hours.  It's addictive.  Anyway, just wanted to show you some other aspects of Gaudi-the unusual Spanish artist from around the early 1900's.  I really didn't know about the mosaics until I ran into one of my former customers and he had just been to Barcelona.  He expounded about how much he loved seeing his work.  So, ENJOY!


  1. Beautiful job on the mansion!! And so interesting about the mosaics. I've always loved mosaic but actually haven't thought to do a search on them on the internet.

  2. Okay, go to the thrift store and get yourself some pretty china. Take it home and put it in a bag and smash it! Especially nice when you need to get out some stress-plus you don't have to be careful when bringing it home either. End result...lots of gorgeous pieces to turn into mosaics! You put them together just like you are doing tile in the bathroom. Now if you want to put a hanger on the back be sure you put that wire on before you start the mosaic part. It's much easier. If you got back a ways on my blog you'll see a short tutorial by me that will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Plus you'll see all the china stacked on top of each other in my studio. It's too much fun! I'm finishing a quilt right now and then I'm heading back down in the next little while to start one for above my kitchen sink. It will be my first big piece. I have a painting that's awaiting me to get back to work on down there also.

  3. Wow Julie, you've just been a bloggin' fool since I've been here last week! This mansion painting in incredible! I also commented on your last piece - I admire artists who do blgs. that is such a weak spot with me, I do so much better with natural subjects and I hate perspective and straight lines in general! You've done a beautiful job though - I love it. I know what you mean too about the color sketch. I did that with the very few mural jobs I had and it really was worth it. Non-visual/artist people have a very hard time visualizing a finished outcome, whereas we can usually visualize a finished piece right away in our heads. It might go through changes along the way, but it's still there.

    I also wanted to make a quick comment about your Carl Larsson (shoot I forget if it's one s or two!) post. I know about him! My Grandfather was from Sweden and my Mom carries on her Swedish heritage, she would collect tins of pepperkakker with his paintings printed on the covers, and also had a book, just gorgeous stuff!

    Whew, I'd better go, but now I have to think of doing a mosaic this summer, ahhhhhhhh!

    Happy Sunday, and thanks so much for all your kind words and support, it means a lot.

  4. Cool, Susan, about the pepperhakker. You know, I have no idea what that is even though that's my heritage. I guess I'll have to learn sometime. I am so attracted to illustrators and Carl Larsson's style is very illustrative. I could just go on talking about them forever but I know that would get monotonous. You're interested in doing mosaics now-proof positive that it was definitely worth it for you that I talked about something 3 dimensional and a totally different medium.

    Okay, Susan, I want to see your mosaic project when you get going. Drat. I thought I would finish this quilt I'm working on last night but I still have more to do. I'm just not really a seamstress, that's for sure. Got to get to the art projects in my studio. They're not going anywhere...patience comes hard sometimes.

    Oh, and I am one bloggin' fool. Love it!