At the core of all of my work are the original paintings. They are created from my heart. Whenever one goes off to its new home I feel like I'm sending a beloved child out into the world.
As many of you know my time is limited for creating these and when I do they are mainly commissioned piece. This blog is about exactly that.
I exhibited at Battle Art Show with many wonderful Artists and organized by Wildlife Artist Nicky Colbran. While there I spoke with Sue and Gary about my work, colours and inspiration for my subject matter. I also mentioned that I take commissions.
Several months later Sue dropped me an email requesting a 'home visit' to discuss two paintings for their house in Eastbourne. A 'home visit' allows me to see the space and all the colours in the room that could be worked into the piece. I asked them to send me pictures of the spaces and surrounding furniture, an idea of which designs and colours they like form my web page and approx size of painting in advance. This helps me tune in to what they might like, I get a feel for their style and my mind starts designing. In their living room were muted lavender, lilacs, pewter and soft caramel which made me think of french country houses, Roses, Wisteria, Lilac trees. The Conservatory had a deep blue on one wall and I thought of sea and boats. The blue also reminded me of the deep blue in my Cathedral Trees original.
I sketched six rough ideas, my sketches are usually in black biro and filled in with colour pencil, Quite often look like messy scribbles but I know where I'm going with them. I tend to jump from this stage straight to finished design as most of the development goes on in my head.
I took these sketches along with some original painting in the sizes and colours that could work in the spaces. Their beautiful home has wonderful light. The wall spaces where they wished to have the art were both above three seater sofas. Large spaces that need something dramatic.
This is where it got interesting. I've been creating larger and larger pieces for customers but struggling to get frames simple but strong enough for these pieces including glass. I have been formulating a way of stretching and sealing the silk on a frame to be hung like a canvas for a while. With or without a frame, but without the glass would mean no reflecting the light from windows especially in places like conservatories.This of course would be perfect Sue and Gary's home. They chose the Wisteria design for the living room and the Poplar Trees with a gorgeous sunset for the conservatory.
I went back to the workshop excited to test my formula for creating the canvas style silks along with designing the full sized pieces ready to outline and paint.
Quite a lot of experimentation later, brandishing the full sized plans for the paintings and two small test pieces of the originals already stretched and sealed I revisited Sue and Gary to show them how it would all look. I'm glad to say they were very happy with everything, giving the go ahead for the full sized pieces. By this time I'm even more excited about the freedom finishing my paintings in this way will give for future work.
The only down side with new plans and processes is, it's a steep learning curve. It was a lot trickier to create the large canvas pieces than it was the smaller test pieces. As each piece was a bespoke size of 1.5m by 70cm I made the wood board stretching frames myself. These were then covered with two layers of gesso to seal the wood. As the silk used for painting is very fine the white base colour is also necessary to show colours perfectly. Many many hours outlining, painting, frame making, base layer painting, drying, silk sealing, drying, varnishing, drying, attaching hooks for hanging and signing the back later, the paintings were complete.
Just the small matter of delivery. It was all worth it. Here are the pics of them in position, kindly taken by Sue and Gary.
These could also be framed with what is called a float frame, a simple wood edge surround with nothing covering the painting or glass.
Let me know your thoughts on this new process in the comments below. It would be good to know if you prefer it to my original mounted and framed behind glass pieces.
I'd love to create a beautiful piece for you using this new finishing method. To book a home visit or video call please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively check out the originals available here on the web page https://meikiedesigns.com/collections/original-art-hand-painted-silk-originals I do ship all over the world. If you do not see a shipping option for your country please email me for a custom quote.