Unlike my fine art painting, my role when doing commissioned art work is often to be a conduit for my client’s vision… and my most recent project was a great example of this!
Linda first came to me with the intention of creating the “ideal” landscape painting as a surprise gift for her husband Doug. Linda and Doug have a home in New Hampshire and they love being out in nature, spending much of their time hiking in the White Mountains to enjoy the fresh air and exercise, but also to fulfill their passion for botany. As a close observer of nature, Linda could casually rattle off tens of plants and trees she would see on a typical hike.
After some preliminary conversations, Linda decided to forego the surprise nature of the gift so Doug could participate in the collaboration. As a next step, Linda and Doug compiled notes about their dream hike – listing all the things they would love to see in one special outing. The fun and the challenge of this was that the landscape they wanted doesn’t actually exist – including things like the eastern view of Mt. Chocorua, Glen Ellis Falls (which are in different parts of the Whites), and a spring-time river rushing over rocks. While we were including a vista of the mountain and the falls, Linda and Doug also wanted it to feel like you are in the woods, climbing up to the falls. Surrounding you would be a "bluebird" sky, a rock worthy of picnicking on, the greens of early spring and some of the plants they cherish seeing along the way – like lady slippers and wild rhododendron.
Below are some shots of the process. First is one example of the input I got from Linda and Doug. Following is my first sketch, which they liked, but wanted more woods and less clearing. Then is my sketch Linda chose followed by the final result!
In the end, Linda was thrilled with the final painting and she can’t wait to hang it so she and Doug can start enjoying their ideal view of spring in the White Mountains all year round.