Whenever I work on a commission I like to meet patrons to go through my portfolio to select the things that they are drawn to in order to create a piece that is special to them. In this case, the way the swallows flew in the painting on the top left, the colour palette and shape of canvas in the top right, the compass/4 directions with arrows on the bottom left and the basic shape of the canoe in the bottom right painting. As I worked on the piece I sent updates, including an initial sketch, base colour palette and work in progress.
I am often asked if I want a down-payment on commissions but I don't want anyone to feel beholden to anything prior to seeing the completed work. I want the finished piece to be loved as much as I loved the process. And I want each piece to be as full of meaning for both of us so that I can be connected to the painting as I work.
The painting was titled 'Hopes + Dreams' as swallows were always a symbol of hope to sailors who had been on the ocean for many months. They are also a symbol of love, care and affection toward family and friends as well as loyalty and freedom. The dream catcher is a symbol of unity and was used to filter bad dreams in order to allow only good thoughts. The compass is also a symbol of finding the right direction or true north, and the four directions or four seasons are commonly used in many cultures to symbolize personal development. Some believe that it represents community. The copper leafed swallows represent the number three which is considered auspicious in many cultures, as well as symbolizing body, mind, spirit and is reflected in both the Bible and the Koran...a magical number.