Conquests was painted for a friend in Florida. I used a good quality watercolour paper – A3 size so it was still suitable for posting. He had made no requests re: subject matter although strongly hinted he liked lizards. This is, of course, why there was no lizard in the final painting! I thought about putting one in, but as the painting progressed, it did not seem to fit.
I like the idea of painting for someone. When I know who the painting is for, imagery that I may not normally work with comes to mind. In this case the ship and the family tree were choices because of the recipient. The ship is a pirate ship because of a story about one of his possible ancestors from the 1600s. The nude woman was also a deliberate choice for him.I figure what thirty-something guy does not like a nude?
I am sure had I finished the painting with only a ship, a family tree and a woman it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as it is now. The hand on the left hand side was originally just background imagery, but as the painting developed I began to highlight it more. The gargoyle and the snake arrived one night. I felt like them at the time, but I cannot tell you why I put them there. In the end I like the way the gargoyle looks sideways… perhaps at that hand… perhaps not. I don’t know.
This week I was sent a photograph of the piece framed and on the wall in Florida. I’m proud that I can paint something that someone else feels enough connection with, that they choose to live with it each day.