Thursday, 31 December 2015

 In a nutshell 


That, plus 3 WIPs is what left my easel this year. I think. 

We seem to have wrecked our backup harddrive, and since I recently moved from a laptop to a pc, my everything was on the backup. I couldn't mention it on social media as I try to not write anything dying of despair. But so, the very tidy folders of every painting, every quote, every little gallery invite is lost. Possibly to be retrieved when we have funds to have it professionally done. 

I'm still struggling to figure out if it's just vanity to document my work so carefully. I guess I had hoped that one day I'd achieve a point where the world would want some kind of Kleynscheldt anthology. Others have kids to leave a legacy, and I want people to want to read about my progression as an artist after I'm gone? That doesn't ring true, but it's close-ish! 
What ever it might be, I'm glad that I've reached a point in my journey where I can enjoy looking back at my naive paintings and attempts at career building. I don't often feel that I'm moving forward, I feel I've been battling the world to survive and enjoy being a painter for decades, but I truly have come far. 
I have to thank everyone who has played a role, whether it's a sale or a word of encouragement. I feel like it's only really art if I'm proud of it AND if others enjoy it, that 'dialogue' between me and you is why I do what I do. And 2015 has had 8 commissions (one currently on the easel). Through word of mouth, and faithful clients that come back for more. I used to see myself as much more of a exhibiting gallery from gallery type of person. But making a living from commissions, and painting what I need to for myself in-between seems like a pretty fantastic way to live.

Thanks for the support everyone! Have a very joyful new years eve (we plan to go into 2016 painting, accompanied by champagne and epic music) and may the new year bring you many challenges and successes!

Monday, 21 December 2015

(blood sweat and wine)

11 months ago, I had the privilege of drawing dear Toto, shortly after he passed away. And as if that wasn't hard enough on the family, their beloved little Cody died unexpectedly last month. 
Toto, A3, pencil on 160 gsm untextured paper
Cody, A3, pencil on 160 gsm untextured paper

It really is so precious to me to work on these kinds of projects, knowing that the families are still grieving, and that the part I play is actually quite important in immortalising a family member. And in delivery I will see in the clients' reactions whether I did them justice. 

Since that drawing I haven't posted much on any social platforms, I spent 2 very long weeks in limbo, waiting for talks to stop and commissions to start -

*Limbo: the period between paintings when you desperately need new orders to come in, second guessing every decision you've ever made in your life while trying not to 
come across as too desperate, too nonchalant, too anything really. 
It's a designated period in which you stress and regret. 
And your faith is tested. Deeply.

And as these things inevitably work out, I ended up with two large commissions with the same deadline. 
Which was 4 weeks.
For two 60 x 90 cm detailed, realistic works, over Christmas, while dear hubby and most of our friends & family are on holiday, after a rough tiresome year. 
I tried to convince myself that those 2 weeks of limbo was supposed to have been rest time, but if you're not 100% sure when the next paying job is coming in, it wreaks havoc on you emotionally, mentally and physically - I got a neck spasm during that time that I'm still feeling the aftershocks of as I sit here. Body parts you've forgotten about start aching and acting up. I go through a period like that at least once a year - sometimes bad planning, sometimes just bad luck - and usually it lasts at least a month, but it still sucks while you're in it.

And so I'm working working working. I'll rest next year :P 

Here's a very very sneaky sneak peak on an angle of an edge of one of the commissions, just to peak your curiosity! I hope to be done with this one in the next day or two, depending on the client's thoughts and expectations.

The next one should be a little gentler on the system; the deadline can be extended, I just don't want to, the client is one of my very favourite people to work with and I'd go very far out of my way to keep her happy, she's dived me out of art limbo many times. But more on that later.

Updates on these paintings and a look-back at 2015 to come soon!