An Ancient Commission: The Khazne of Petra

When Jerry Gilley asked me for a two-panel commission, giving me free reign provided that each panel was 10X20 and depicted something to do with travel, it took me a while to figure out what exactly I needed to do.  A collage of travel images?  Perhaps the Great Sphinx (since Gilley has been to Egypt)?  None of the ideas seemed right for the smaller panels. . . until one day I was flipping through one of my mother's books on Petra.  I have always been fascinated by the abandoned ancient city in the desert and longed to see its monumental architecture, feel its mystique-- and I thought of my mother's stories of living in Jordan many years ago.  I also remembered that Gilley mentioned Petra as a place he too would like to see. . .

The symmetry of the Khazne seemed perfect for the project, allowing a variety of ways to display the panels-- together as one piece [above] or separately [below].  That said, I played with the composition of the underpainting and background to ensure that the piece was not symmetrical to the point of blandness. I tried to paint it in colors that suggested the building's rosy desert tones, but also added jewel tones reflecting the geometric splendor of Middle Eastern art.  Since it might hang rather close to the Rome painting I did for Gilley, I also wanted to make sure that the colors would not clash.  This piece will be ready for Gilley to pick up at the opening of my new store on Clinton Row next month, and I hope he will enjoy adding it to his growing collection of my work.  As for the store-- Stay tuned for more on that in my next post! 


Here's to 2014!

Columns and Swirls [above] and Seasons Change [below, with an extra photo showing the texture of the piece and echoes of 2010's Emerging Red] are the last two paintings that I managed to complete in 2013.  In a sense, I feel as if I still have a bit of unfinished business left over from last year-- two portrait projects and a two-panel commission-- but at the same time, a new year always makes me want to formulate new goals, so I suspect that these projects might go in different directions than I previously expected.  We shall see!

As for my other plans for 2014, I am excited at the prospect of opening a small public studio come March (if all goes well).  This will be a very new step for me, but hopefully one which will help me to better serve my community, continue to ascertain what I need in a workspace, and gauge whether I should expand my business into a gallery/larger shop, dive headfirst into writing and design, or do any number of other things in the future. . . so many roads spread out before me, and I must choose each one wisely!  Naturally, I will continue to do commissioned portraits, as I very much enjoy painting human faces and figures and find the happiness that a portrait can give a client extremely fulfilling.  I would also like to get started on an idea for a series of paintings that has been incubating in my mind for at least two years now.  The sheer number of ideas swarming my mind is exhilarating; stay tuned for quite a year!