Wednesday, 5 December 2007


I always accept commissions with mixed feelings - initially there is always great excitment that anyone would want me to produce a piece of artwork specially for them but then there is also plenty of apprehension that the recipient might not like what I've done. Some commissions are obviously easier than others but some I agonise over. A recent piece that I've just completed has been a bit like that. A friend approached me a few weeks ago to make a picture as a Christmas present. He sent me a photograph of a view that was special to him and his friend and wanted me to interprete it in textiles. This was the photograph.

First of all I needed to know what made this special to them - Brian told me it ws the way the view was framed by the doorway, the sunlight and the chairs on the patio. I played with lots of ideas, did some sketches and tried some non literal interpretations but they weren't working so in the end I've made something quite literal for me. I've played with the colour to make it more "my own" but hope the feeling of sunlight is still there. I have also kept the framed view which I liked and cut down the number of chairs - think I would have prefered to leave them out completely! It is worked on silk with quite a lot of machine embroidery in the landscape and a sprinkling of gold on the tree tops that does look like sunlight. Overall I think I'm quite pleased (apart from the table and chair) but now of course I've got all the apprehension before Brian gets to see it! Here's a sneak preview... I'm pretty sure the recipient doesn't read my blog so safe to share it!

It was an interesting commission in another way as a recent Opus assignment was to "Find situations around the house where a view is framed by windows and doors and make a series of drawings based on these compositions." I enjoyed this assignment, especially as one of my favourite painting is The Open Window by Matisse. How I wish I could paint like this... or better still interprete a view into textiles to look like this... dream on Gina !

Instead I made a pencil drawing of Stewart's wardrobe... so much tidier than mine (which I wouldn't want to share with the world!)

A very quick pen and ink sketch of our hallway - very carefully leaving out all the clutter such as disgarded shoes, coats and school bags!

And finally a collage based on a photograph I took on holiday a couple of years ago. None of them quite up to Matisse but I enjoyed the assignment.

I had better go and make another pot of tea... I've got a couple of guys here laying tiles on the bathroom floor... one of whom must be almost half my age and keeps calling me "babe"... not sure whether to be flattered or insulted... or perhaps I should suggest he gets his eyes tested!


  1. Hey babe! I love the commission you've done and am sure the recipient will too. I also love seeing the sketches behind your work and how you formulate your ideas. I used to be far too impatient to sketch or plan anything but I find it does help ideas to come and seems to make the final product quicker to produce - sometimes!!

  2. Hey Gina!

    Just read the follow up comment over at MoogsMum and send apologies. Don't know why when reading this blog last week I thought you were in Australia?!?!?

  3. That is a stunning piece of work Gina and I'm sure your friend will love it-such a lot of detail and texture - really fab!

    So hang in there babe and gladly accept the compliments when they come pouring in!!!

    Lucy x

  4. I know what you mean about commissions! Way too scary for me, babe! It's a beautiful piece of work Gina. I like your sketches. I'm always too impatient for sketching and planning on paper too but things always turn out better when I do it. I love the tree in your collage.

  5. What wonderful work.

    I love the wardrobe sketch. Do you think if I showed it to my wardrobe it would then know what it OUGHT to look like and sort itself out? Naah. Thought not. Worth a try though.

  6. Beautiful work Gina and I am sure that is what your client will think.I liked the photo's from the jungle.When I look out of my office window I can see a grey sky so I hope they send some more feel good photo's.

  7. Hi Gina, Brilliant work, he is so lucky, you have done a perfect job. I wish I could make the time to do the sketches and if they were as good as yours I would be able to frame them. Drawing is not my strong point. Thanks for sharing them.

  8. The panel works well Gina babe (as you will be officially know as from now on (grins)). Do let us know your friends response (that's the best bit of a commission).

    I bet the workmen have been perusing your blog and your beach babe photos ;))

  9. Gorgeous work Gina! You are a very talented illustrator and textile artist. Truly lovely art my friend!

  10. P.S Your wardrobe looks much tidier than mine!

  11. I meant to say Stuart's wardrobe :)
    My wardrobe is very friendly - my clothes always fall out to greet me!


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