I've been working on a piece for a wonderful friend of mine, Billy Jolie, who wrote a book called The Lust Garden. (I am so proud of him because he not only wrote the book, but had it published! It's even sold online at Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon.com!) He asked me to do a commissioned piece based on the book. I enjoyed reading Billy's book because I am a huge fan of celebrity gossip and all of that mindless stuff involving Hollywood (it's a guilty pleasure of mine, what can I say?) After thinking about for a little bit, we decided to focus on the last chapter of his book (when things get all cray cray) and I immediately accepted his challenge to create a piece using my style!
Little did I know how stressed it'd make me! Many of you know I've been working on this piece literally since before we went away to Antigua for our wedding. I mean, I've done pieces for friends and family before and felt the stress of wanting to make them super happy with the outcome of a piece. I haven't, however, felt the stress of impressing a friend who is ALSO another artist and writer! Ok, call me paranoid (I know no one would ever say they hated something I've done to the point of it being a huge deal) but making those close to me happy means more to me than making an impression at an art show in general. [Insert soft sob; wipe tear]
Billy's birthday was yesterday and I was pretty bummed hubs and I work too late to make it out to his birthday dinner. Billy'd just gotten back from celebrating his birthday in Atlanta, so I asked about meeting up for lunch which worked with his schedule! We met up at Mellow Mushroom to savor a deliciously awesome pizza together. What did we get? No, the meat lovers deluxe extra large. BUT we did try the Gourmet White pizza with chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and tomato. (I also snuck in a salad when I first got there while waiting for him.)
it's so nice to catch up with friends, over carbs especially
After we ate, I knew Mr. Jolie was anxious to see the piece. Shoot, I was anxious to show it to him! I've been working on the piece, in total, for about 4 months. To me, that's a long time. I really took my time with this piece, I have to say. I've done two paintings at once for a show before and I couldn't with this one. I wanted to take my time so that I only worked on it when I felt I was really 'in the groove' and could give it my all; if I was tired at all or not in a cheery mood, there was no painting to be done.
We went to my car, and I gave Billy his Lust Garden Piece. I didn't really name it, now that I think about it. If I were to name it, it'd probably be "Gianna's Exit" (you have to read the book to see why!)
I was SO happy that Billy was happy with the finished piece. That magical moment when someone sees a painting you've been working on for them for some time isn't able to be described by a whole lot in text. The expression on a face tells is all. Immediately, when he looked at the painting, I felt at ease and such gratification! He said I captured the main character, Gianna, in the last chapter just as he'd pictured it. I even added glitter to the piece, per his request ;) After glossing it, I was sure there'd be no glittery mess left anywhere. For those who can appreciate an artist's method, I did change things up a bit here versus my other paintings - the use of multi media was one thing. I also haven't done a piece 36 x 36 before, so that was fun! I mixed different color combos to create better shading and was pretty proud of the outcome.
The painting fits in nicely with Billy's new house and decor too ;)
It was a great day and such an awesome feeling to love on someone else with my art :)
(Sidenote: I've also decided to make more of an effort to use my actual Sony camera - as you can see the pictures came out WAY better than with my camera phone...while I love it so, it doesn't make photos as crisp that's for darn sure)