While at Artwalk I met many interesting people who stopped by my art display and chatted with me about my paintings. This is when I met Lori, a very warm and friendly lady from sunny San Diego. We began talking about my art, the colours and the style which then led us on to talking about California, my love of hot weather, the sun and how I was being commissioned to create a painting of Palm Springs.
Lori mentioned that she was thinking about an idea of creating a painting of her dear friend Arlene's property in Cars Landing (north of Kelowna). She began describing the property, a waterfront piece of paradise with a lone willow tree that sat on a point in Okanaga Lake. Lori described how at home her friend and her felt when they rounded a certain corner of the road high on the hill overlooking Okanagan Lake and could see the Willow Tree down below which anchored Arlene's waterfront property.
Lori told me of the history the two close friends had over the years, the joys they shared and the hardships they endured together. We spoke about the symbolism of the tree and the meaning of home.
By the end of the conversation I was so moved by Lori and we parted ways saying we would keep in touch about a possible commission.
After the show Lori and I emailed back a forth a number of times with photos, descriptions and colour ideas. It was a real collaboration that focused on capturing the Okanagan and Arlene's property. I sat for hours one night sketching the sky, working the clouds and trying to capture more of a meaning of their friendship. This is where I came up with the design of the clouds wrapping around the sun and weaving through the sky and hugging the mountains, symbolizing their friendship and the ups and downs and support they have given each other from the stories Lori told me.
Now I just had to hope Lori would like it! She did and I was excited to get started on canvas.
Lori's painting was the first to be completed in my new studio and I loved every minute in there working on this beautiful piece. When it was completed I took a photo and sent it to Lori, hoping she would love it too. Very early the next morning I received an email back saying she was thrilled with how it turned out and I couldn't have been happier. The painting was packaged up and sent off that day to Lori in San Diego where it arrived the next week.
I have to say Thank you to Lori, this painting was more than I imagined and I loved every minute of creating it with her capturing the symbolism, meaning of friendship and the beauty of the Okanagan and Arlene's property.
Below are a few photos of the progress this commission took from photographs to sketches and to the final work of art.