Last week one of my patrons arrived at my San Francisco beach studio
with two close friends visiting from New Jersey.
She came to preview a series of oil paintings from her Experience of Art
of the Russian River, which snakes along her beautiful Sonoma Valley
ranch in Healdsburg, California.
The paint was barely dry on a dozen studies. I created them in and around the waters that have been reflecting her family’s memories over many years.
She was so excited. We took each piece outside so that she could examine the paintings under the sunlight.
Under the full sun she could see the layering of color and thick and generous textures of pigment.
Like so many of my patrons who commission an Experience of Art
she struggled to decide which study would serve as the basis for the custom large-scale oil painting.
I encouraged her. "Go with your gut. Don't think it, feel it."
She had a dozen paintings on her “tasting menu” and ironically she chose the very first study I painted as the basis for her "main course."
Why did I paint a dozen original oil studies?
- This study gives her a reasonable expectation of what her four-foot painting will look like.
- Because creatively everything exists in context.
- And there would be no way of knowing if this study should serve as the basis for her large canvas if I did not present her with all of my very best creative options.
The Russian River painting collection of studies will eventually find a home in other collector’s walls. And I’ll have clear creative direction.
This confidence will inspire the larger scale painting and the others studies will inform it.