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ESPECIALLY FOR YOU

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

I COMPLETED MY FIRST COMMISSION! In January, I was asked to create a special cyanotype commission for a very special customer. I had 20 days to create something magical; to consult, plan, test, create, embellish, wrap & post this very important piece of paper, to ensure it was in his hands ready to surprise his fiancé on their 10 year anniversary. SMASHED IT! …with a brand new UV light-box set up and my printer on the blink, it took a LOT of testing! A few meltdowns later, I produced something I was almost happy with and knew they’d eventually love. So I reworked, added, and eventually downed tools and shouted “YES!” - it was ready to post off.

⬅ Meet my darling friends Jess & Chris - a beautiful young couple who have been together for ten years now!

I’ve had the privilege of knowing them for seven years; I lived with Jess at uni and we bonded over musicals, Jane Austen and cheap rosé. Chris came to stay sometimes and turned out to be just as lovely as Jess - how could you not love this couple!? Like many other young couples, we were all gutted when they had to postpone their wedding last summer, so I knew I had to make this artwork extra extra special! I kept Chris informed throughout the process with updates and photos of the progress, suggestions and any set backs. He had mentioned that secretly it was also a gift for him, so when I was finished I let him know that I wasn’t sending a finished photo - that I would package it up so that when Jess opened it, they would see it for the first time together.

 

THE BRIEF:

Something blue, to potentially feature some of their favourite things, which includes but is not limited to: Pulp fiction, moulin rouge, star wars, Formula 1, Corfu, Yellowstone, Bournemouth, Five Finger Death Punch, Pink Floyd, Turk (pet tortoise), 2011 started dating, 2017 engaged.

Luckily he was able to provide me with this FABULOUS photo from their friends’ wedding, which made it a lot easier to produce a higher quality A3 scale piece. Instantly I made visual comparisons between this photo and one of the iconic shots of Satine and Christian from Moulin Rouge. So it was decided, Jess OBVIOUSLY needed Satine’s headpiece!

I knew I couldn’t touch her shawl - Jess is a tailor, as well as an avid knitter and lover of all things fabric, vintage and craft…


she made this shawl herself and I remember how proud she was of it - this needed to remain totally unadulterated, though inevitably, it ended up with a little bit of gold detailing.




THE DIGITAL RESULT (NEGATIVE)

 

Having spent a lot more time painting recently, I got the courage to make this work in a more painterly style compared to my usual cyanotypes - this involved applying several layers of the cyanotype sensitiser and reprocessing the image to produce this more hand-painted style (mostly on Chris’ sleeve & the mountains).

I also decided to use liquid gold leaf on this work instead of sheets, as I wanted to apply the gold responsively as a gradual process, rather than when using leaf painting the invisible gilding paste in predetermined areas and then adding the sheets to that.




THE FINAL PIECE




 

PERSONAL DETAILS: Satine’s headpiece cut from a Moulin Rouge movie still and adapted to fit Jess. I reworked the nod to Pink Floyd to make it a tad more subtle, by slimming the triangle and simplifying the rays on the right. (inspired of course, by their The Dark Side of the Moon album cover) Jess’ engagement ring is just visible behind Chris’ back and I was really hoping this would come through nicely on the cyanotype so that I could add some gold to it. The artwork is ‘signed off’ with MMXI - for 2011, the year they started dating. The scene in the background is Yellowstone National Park (their favourite holiday) - obviously, having never been there myself, I called upon the internet fairies and found this image on a site called Pexels. This is a great site where photographers can share their images for use personally and commercially, all for free*.


 

INSPIRATION / VISUALS:

BIGGEST REGRET:


⬅ I couldn’t quite figure out how to fit this little guy in!! Perhaps if I did it again, I’d have worked the texture of his shell into the mountains somehow… so here’s TURK ❤ you can even follow him on Instagram if you like perhaps I just figured out my wedding gift… VIDEO: here’s a quick Tiktok of my meltdowns & triumphs… and a lot of tests ➡


 

Now I think I’m ready, I’ve learnt what I needed to learn (for now; there’s always more) SO COME AT ME WITH YOUR COMMISSION REQUESTS! click here and let’s have a chat

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