The Golden Touch

As an artist, I not only create work that is inspired by what moves me, but I also create art that is meant to evoke meaning for other people. Sometimes this is in the form of a personalized art piece, otherwise known as a commission. Commissions are the most difficult paintings that I do as an artist because I really put my everything into being sure that the art invokes a spark for the collector, on a visual, mental and emotional level. I also have to work with more specific details such as color, style and the aesthetic that this person has asked for. These elements are more complex than a regular piece, which means that I reach into places from my creative well that I might not otherwise reach. It’s a bigger challenge.

I live in a very nice place, one where people value their lifestyle, how they relate to the environment and to each other. We are surrounded by natural beauty and this has a tendency to “rub off” onto people. For example; my dentist. I have never been to a more beautiful office in my life. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with a warming ambiance of decor and layout including gorgeous colors, great furniture and many small touches that indicate the presence of someone who cares about the space. And since I’ve been going to this place for quite some time, it’s no surprise to me that the whole team there carries that same sense of care and personal touch. My dentist and his wife are particularly nice people, always asking sincere questions of myself, and being warm and cheery towards everyone. The whole place really delights me and I always leave there with a good impression.

Last year I had the idea to create an art piece for that beautiful place- a customized piece that I would paint and then see if they wanted to keep it. If they didn’t I would add it to a collection or a show.


This is the office I’m referring to- as you can see, it’s really quite a nice space. 



I already had a painting that I had done, but a part of me knew that it wasn’t fully completed. So I decided to work on that one because I knew it was “meant” for the office- it already had the foundations, texture, rich color and the right size. So… I decide to take it to the next level, and with that beautiful front lobby in mind, I kept  painting. Here are some slides of the original.

*click the images for slideshow


When I am stuck with a piece, I can normally give it some breathing room and even leave it for months. I did experience that several times with this painting , but I  really wanted to push through because I had already told the people in the office about it; even taking it to them at a certain point so that they could see it along the way. So I called out/in to my creative self and said- “Self. I need some help here”. And after a few days, it hit me. It was like a gold rush, and I jumped on it.

Gold pigment was the missing element. Gold, the colour that leaves us in awe, sparkling, glimmering and promising richness and beauty. It’s the same colour that makes that office so vibrant, and along with the equally rich copper they use in the lobby, I decide to head to the art store and get some new pigment powders, kind of like fairy dust. These powders are super fine and very gorgeous, if you can imagine blowing them in the sunshine they would leave you in awe.


Additionally, I started incorporated greens and blues into the piece:
*click the images for slideshow



As you can see, there are many layers to the painting. When I am working on a painting with a space or person in mind, this is a necessary endurance I have to dig deep into my creativity.
This is a common sentiment that many artists’ express – “it’s not me, it’s the piece creating itself”. Despite the cliché, I do agree.



I know you’re wondering… did they like the piece enough to have it hanging up on the wall in their office? The answer is no. They did like it but it wasn’t quite perfect for them. And that is how it goes with art- it is totally subjective, and it really should resonate 110% percent with a collector. Over time I’ve come to expect rejection as a valuable part of my growth,- as very normal. I’ve even been in shows where I sold absolutely nothing, and then months later someone who saw a piece at that same show wants to buy 2 or 3 paintings from me.

regardless, the silver lining of it all is that at the end of the day; I still got to paint. I have the time and passion to be a part of this creative process; I put myself out there, people see my work and they too get to be a part of it all, whether they purchase a piece or not. I have a sense that every part of it matters, even just a glance. And either way, I feel content with the fact that Art is in my life.

~ n