Friday, 12 January 2007

Two heads are better than one!

Art Studio, Friday 12th January 2007

I was about to to call this entry „Slave to the Rhythm -3-“ but I didn´t want to risk sounding unthankful.
Yesterday I received a commission of two new portraits from proud Dutch grand-parents of their grand-children, two nice kiddies with „really red hair“, as the lady said, giggling (I altered the photo a little to preserve their anonymity...). Funny by the way: they came to my Studio with their own computer so we could choose the photos together, and the woman revealed herself to be a real computer buff, while her husband´s job was restricted to simply carrying the computer!. She even told me, that my Internet Security System was very bad and that people in the street could use my Internet at my cost... thank goodness it´s a standard charge!

Anyway... as always, as I asked them when they should be ready, they answered:
Normally my clients are very impatient to see the result. In most cases it is the first time that they´ve ever ordered a portrait and they are quite excited. I have the impression that it makes them feel as though they are personally contributing to the World of Art. And in a certain sense it is true: without them the paintings wouldn´t exist. This is one of the reasons why I am so thankful for a commission: it allows me to create a new painting forcing me to push myself.
But at the same time, I feel a deep sense of responsibility. Of course I don´t want to ruin their expectations. nor simply create a good work of art. Above all I want my clients to find the soul within the portraits. A hard task, as all painters know who ´ve tried it themselves. The slightest change in a line or in a shadow can completely change the expression, and transform the person into a stranger. As a mathematician I would say:
„A wonderful example of the Chaos Theory!“

I had a nice conversation with a couple of compatriots on Sunday in the Street Gallery. They loved the portraits I was exhibiting that day. I told them that most of the time, I get portraits commissioned to give as gifts.

„Oh what a good idea! We never thought about that! Of course, it is a fantastic gift... what a pity that we didn´t meet you before Christmas!“

This is true. Most of the time people don´t think about giving the gift of a portrait. What a pity indeed! And not only from a business point of view: a good portrait is an everlasting gift, and the effect you achieve is simply wonderful!
I asked the Dutch couple, for example, if they wanted the two boys together on the same painting.
„Oh no, of course not! When they are grown-ups, and leave their parents house, they must each be able to take their own portrait, without ripping the painting down the middle!“
It is already the second time in this young year that I´ve heard that: apparently people who order a portrait think very far ahead!

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