As well as painting larger scale botanic art works, like the Cullen pallidum that was recently shown in the exhibition, I love to create smaller drawings and paintings. These are usually of things I am fascinated by, objects from the natural world. I have told you about my shells, some painted in watercolour, some in soluble graphite.
Usually I potter around with my materials, letting my creativity flow as much as possible. If I am happy, I will put them up for sale in my Etsy shop.
Sometimes though I am asked to create something specific and I love working on these commissions. I enjoy the challenge of creating an art work that meets the image in someone else’s mind. There may be a specific photo they would like me to use. They may like something already in the shop but with different colours. For the latest commission my client had the frames so my images had to be a precise size.
I am usually quite relaxed about commissions, because I always make it clear that there is no obligation to buy. My image may not match up with the one in the client’s mind. That’s fine. I can pop it into the shop, and it may appeal to someone else. However, it hasn’t happened often, because I try to keep them abreast of what I am doing, sending images of what I am creating. Also I like to give them options, and this gives me a chance to play with different effects. Like these bats.
I had never drawn bats before, but I was happy to try. I love gently working with graphite and that was my first choice. Then I thought about having a go with ink stippling — little ink dots that build up to create the tone. The customer couldn’t choose and bought both! I was especially delighted as he was a bat researcher 🙂
Another customer asked me to create a drawing of a black cockatoo feather. Isn’t this just the most stunning feather?
And another wanted a feather for a tattoo. I would love to know if she ever used it.
As I mentioned, occasionally the person doesn’t buy. I was asked to create some watercolour oyster shells, like the ones already in my shop , but bigger and with less purple. I don’t know why she didn’t buy them, but I am quite happy to have them in my shop. Someone else may just desire an oyster shell painting with a little less purple!