Do you know that moment when your commission is finally finished and the time has come to reveal your artwork to the client…. ? Oh dear!
When you have been working on an artwork for a long time, it is very hard to be able to step back and criticise the work yourself. When you see your own artwork too many times, it’s almost impossible to judge it with a clear view. That crooked nose has become so familiar to you, that is seems okay. And you don’t notice the fact that the eyes look crosseyed anymore. So it’s best to step back and forget about it for a while or to ask the opinion of an outsider. They have a fresh look on things.
I have been working on a portrait for a friend of mine, a lady with a very sweet and charming face. The task I have as an artist is to make sure that her facial features work for her in my depiction and don’t look like flaws instead. Bad craftsmanship can make those charming wrinkles look old or harsh. And ladies don’t like that! So it’s up to me to make sure that the initial charm I see in that person’s facial expressions is indeed caught in the portrait. I feel that as an important responsibility.
But even when you think you have succeeded, you have to determine the moment when you will reveal the artwork to the client. And when you do, you’re either enthusiastic about it yourself or you want to hide under your desk. I always want to do the latter. Not because I am so very insecure about my work, but because opinions of people on art are so unexpectedly different every time. I have sold my worst work to someone who fell in love with it and at the same time my best work is still tucked away in my drawer! You never know how people will respond no matter how happy you are with the work yourself.
So all I can do is make sure that I am convinced myself that I have given it my very best and that I would be happy hanging my work on my own wall. The rest I have to let go of. Lay it in the hands of providence and hope for the best! And that is exactly what I am going to do today! Wish me luck!
Eva Mout, Ursus Art