Coral Tiger-Lily – Acrylic on Canvas, 16×20
March 2011 

After much cajoling, sweet-talking and at times outright threatening, I have agreed to take up the brush again. This is my first painting of the year which was commissioned by a close friend. She just wanted something to hang on the wall of her new apartment, something that would break up the acres and acres of cream and magnolia that dominates her kitchen/ living room. I hadn’t painted for over a year, so did resist; but she talked me round. She is forever going on about how she really loves the big canvas prints in the shops, but will never shell out £30-40 for something that was spat out of a printer. In my opinion, she is right. Nothing quite beats a hand-made painting. And it’s a lot cheaper (especially if you have a friend who will make one for you for next to nothing!)

When I went to see her apartment I saw the lovely bare walls, which to the artist’s eye looks just like a primed canvas. The smell of fresh paint didn’t help either. I went from complete indifference to ‘hey, can I fresco your house?’ Now I know how Michelangelo felt when he started work on the Sistine Chapel! A project for another time maybe?

But after a chat we decided on something a little more traditional. She wanted strong colours that wouldn’t clash with her furniture (dark, dark brown and cream) so I said why not orange? It’s just a vibrant variant of brown. Next we picked a picture from the internet she liked and I said, ‘ok, see you in a week’s time’. Before I knew it I had the thing finished and now it’s hung up on her wall. It’s gotten quite a few compliments too, thought I think it could have done without the pink swirls.

The only problem now is that she wants more! So I’ve agreed to make this a series of three. I’m currently working on another more orange-hued lily at the moment (in contrast to the pinkish one here). The background is still going to be a nice lemony-green and I’m going to keep the Georgia O’Keefe style that I adore so much.

What do you think? This is the first time I’ve shown any of my artwork outside of friends and family, let alone the internet, so I’d love to hear your views.