A few months ago I was approached online with a commission request. A possible client wanted me to paint her parents 'past' and present pets in ONE painting. I thought, 'cool, I can do a few in a painting' - great challenge. Lo and behold, it is 7 animals. SEVEN...seven! 4 dogs and 3 cats. OK. I can do this. Other life happenings have been filling the void..have had the photos of these pets for a couple of months.
AND..other commission work, matting and framing for a show, family issues, ME taking care of the homestead for the winter have taken precedent - not excuses - but many artists who work at home, will tell you LIFE gets in the way, very often.
Yesterday I plowed through. After working most of the day - my first sketch of the composition was completed. Honestly, I was thinking - where do I start? What have I done? Questioning myself if I could do this and why did I take it on?
I have to give some of the credit to the many places online that I get my 'nudging'. I do these tasks daily - I listen to Danny Gregory's Podcasts, watch Ali Cavanaugh paint beautiful watercolors on Patreon, listen and watch Kim Casebeer and Kami Mendlik paint on Instagram - I get a world of encouragement just by watching and listening to others. (It's like that instrumental crescendo in "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles is playing all the while - in my head.)
AND finally - there - voila - STEP ONE - completed (charcoal on newsprint). Now I can go forward with getting the plan down on canvas and begin painting. Only in one case, do I see any of these lovies side by side for comparative SIZE reference. The client supplied me with who is the biggest and suggestions from there, that there is a three legged pooch that she wants shown (black and tan, up front). Most have passed, so the photos that she has, are the photos I will use. Some photos show what I need, some do not..I have to make it up a little with research and artistic license - scary to say the least. I am making the cats larger than they should be, but putting much smaller cats with dogs - bugs me. Watercolor was my first choice on Aquabord but substrate choice of a bigger size calls for acrylic on stretched/cradled edge canvas. It will be 20" x 30". Sometimes DOING art seems so hard. Why? I hang a sign over my easel and refer to it so much these days..."It's Supposed to be Fun". And IT IS, once I get past the 'heebie jeebies' of that first step. If I can DO this one - I will have proved to myself, I can do anything.