I can't believe that I am actually writing a blog post about a wedding dress I was asked to draw! I have always wanted to draw someones wedding dress and have always meant to ask someone or even one of my friends if I could draw theirs! (I never did) As luck would have it I was contacted through my facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/JaneHoganArtist/ , by Linda .... All very exciting : ) Lindas sister Lisa was getting married and Linda wanted to get her something really special, a keepsake that could be hung on her wall, a timeless gift.
You know me I'm open to requests for commissions especially gifts that capture a moment in time or of a special memory that will be on someones wall forever. I was sooooo delighted when she asked if I would be interested in drawing her sisters wedding dress. I could not believe my luck, I was so excited to get started (It was very hard to wait until after the wedding, I was dying to get stuck in).
When I can I love meeting up with the people requesting commissions from me. I love hearing the stories behind the ideas or the stories behind the photographs. Sometimes I can just get that great feeling or the happiness or wonderment that beams from a photo and thats enough for me to try and capture in my drawings. Linda is based in Abu Dhabi so meeting up straight away wasn't going to be an option!! Linda had some ideas and she sent on any photos she could that would get the ball rolling.
Depending on the commission, I like to do my visual research so sketching ideas, working from photos I've been given to formulate a plan and to get into that head space (and also because I get to draw more things!! lol)
Here's some preliminary sketches that got the ideas flowing ...
We discussed lots of ideas including the possibility of including Lisa's dads very first car that was actually the car that was used in the wedding!
We decided it was best to just stick with the wedding dress. The dress itself is so intricate and elegant that including anything else might have taken from it. Lisa had a striking bouquet of flowers that I thought would be such a nice touch to include. Also the graphite alongside elements of colour is very effective.
As soon as the wedding was over and Linda was able to provide me with some pics I was able to work away on my very first professional drawing of a wedding dress .... A dream of mine for ages :)
Thanks a million for reading
A Wedding at St. Marys
I'm writing this blog this evening whilst trying to finish what feels like ten million other things!!! Do you ever get days like that where it's everything all at once and then it's all calm again. This blog post has been on my mind to write the past couple of days so I just had to sit down and do it this evening (everything else will just have to wait!!!!)
A couple of years ago Kathleen contacted me to see if I would do a drawing/painting for her. Her sister was getting married and Kathleen wanted to surprise her with something unique that would capture the essence of her wedding day. She thought it would be a wonderful keepsake.
Kathleen wasn't sure what she wanted in the image and wether or not it should be a drawing or a painting or what size. A good challenge for me I thought. I love doing this and love hearing the stories behind peoples ideas and that's where the ideas for imagery begin to merge from chatting to the client and really listening. We met up on a few occassions and sifted through some ideas. We chatted about the them for the wedding (if any), the venue, if it was a church wedding, where the couple lived etc...
The theme of the wedding was vintage and as the couple don't live near the church we decided that including the church would be a nice idea as well as creating that old vintage look which would reflect the theme of the wedding. Kathleen had it in mind to include a wedding party on the gounds of the church which was similar to a photo she had of her parents wedding at the same church! All very exciting. I couldn't wait to get started!!
I began researching vintage themed weddings, 1920s formal wear for both male and female etc,
From here I created some sketches from the imagery I had collected. It was important for me to fully grasp the essence of vinatage in a formal setting in order to capure this special memory with effect
These sketches allowed me to develop fictional characters for the drawing. I also played around with different techniques and styles in order to achieve that old sepia look that old images have. Coffee, the old reliable worked wonders!! During our meet up I would show Kathleen the drawings I had created and we discussed what was working and what wasn't. I should mention that every client is different and so meeting up does not always need to happen. Kathleen was delighted with the direction it was going and once she was happy with size and medium and image after our second meet up it was full steam ahead!!! Always love getting to this part!!
Below is St. Marys Church in Nenagh... The bride originates from here but lives with her husband in Dublin ....
The final drawing ...
The final drawing and its frame ... !
A beautiful memory captured in a drawing. Something different hanging on the couples home in Dublin.
If this idea is something you would like to gift someone for a wedding present give me a shout ...
Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Hope you've had a lovely weekend and made the most of it despite this dreary weather! I thought it was never going to stop raining on Friday!!! Getting the hang of this whole blogging thing (well, I like to think I am anyway lol !!)
So, while I am busy with creative endeavours ;) I thought I would continue to show you how I go about creating my commissions. In August 2015 I held my very first solo exhibition in Nenagh Library. (Something I will most likely chat to you about down the line on here) It was a bigger success than I could ever have dreamed of and really was not expecting it. It was such a brilliant experience. If you are an artist and considering doing a solo show just go for it what have you got to lose. There are lots of places open to exhibitions just ask around and get the thinking cap on!!
Anyways ... Sinéad bought one of my paintings at the exhibition and after about a week later she contacted me to see if I would do a piece for her. Sinéad is a a collector of art and has a very keen eye so I was so excited when she bought one of my paintings and wanted to commission two more pieces (I honestly could not believe it!!!) It was such a fantastic opportunity and Sinéad is such a wonderful person to work with. She had one specific piece in mind (I will tell you about that another time otherwise you will be here all day reading this blog post!!) and the other she was leaving up to myself. The only thing was that the piece was going to be hung in a particular room in her house. I met up with Sinéad and she kindly allowed me to go and take photos of the room. I like to get a feel for a project before starting so for me it was important to go visit Sinéad in her house and try to capture her style of decor and know what she likes and doesn't like. Other important factors were the scale of the piece and also colour or not! It was going to be a painting.
I took some photos both inside and outside her home. Whilst speaking to Sinéad we talked about all sorts. She talked to me about the memory garden she had planted infront of the house. She told me a very sad story about what happened to the person this memory garden was for and why certain plants and colours were choosen. Such a beautiful idea x
After my visit I had lots of ideas we could focus on as subject matter for this piece. I did a few sketches but kept coming back to the memory garden and how beautiful it looked even from a distance and of course the whole concept behind it. The various shades of pinks and greens and the shapes within it was just really an inspiration. I started to focus more on this and sketched out some ideas for Sinéad to have a look at. It was something she never thought of and loved the idea.
The final idea below ...
When discussing the scale of the painting we thought it would be something different to divide the painting into four connecting pieces, a quadriptych. The garden and conversations I had with Sinéad were my inspiration, I did not want a direct copy of the garden. The garden itself was another piece of art in its own right. I took elements from the garden, the room and the house to create a type of illustrative collage. I wanted the painting to be a bright and positive piece to appreciate and that you could almost feel a sense of growth within the piece.
Each canvas piece measured 4x4" on a deep edge canvas painted using acrylics ...
A Beautiful simple wooden box frame that was framed by a local framer in Nenagh, John Maher, Summerhill ...
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guys,
If anyone is interested in commissioning a piece however big or small you can contact me through my website or pm me on my facebook page.
Art and creativity is in my heart! Always dreaming ...