Iconically Malta

Break out the champagne – I just completed my first, paid, art commission!

I met George randomly at a BBQ for a mutual friend.  He’s one of those rare people I hit it off with straight away, like we’d been friends for years.  He follows this blog and we “social network”.  It is he who motivated me to actually start this blog and pursue my art with more seriousness as opposed to the lip service I’d been giving it.

A few weeks ago he asked if I would paint him something to give to his friend for his 50th birthday.  This was the brief:

“He [friend] likes painting and also different cultures. So I thought what better present to get him than a painting of something Maltese, something from my culture”.

We discussed the size, style and topic.  He provided me with a few photos and we agreed on a scene depicting the Mdina Co Cathedral – an iconic Maltese landmark.

While I was super excited and honoured to be asked to do something like this I was, just quietly, crapping myself.  The pressure came down like a ton of bricks and dredged up the “I’m not good enough” monster who has been barking it’s ugly taunts ever since.

This little bastard of a monster’s mockery resulted in one destroyed canvas and another that I was going to throw out.  I changed tact several times, had a major creative blank and couldn’t even pick a colour scheme!

Then I remembered something George said:

“…using the photo as a a guide and letting you as an artist add your own creativity was exactly what I was hoping for. Otherwise I would have applied a couple of filters with Photoshop, printed it on canvas and done.”

I returned to one of the canvasses I’d dismissed in frustration because it “didn’t look like the photo”.  It didn’t have to look like the photo, in fact it shouldn’t look like the photo according to my client.

All of a sudden a muse (or whatever you want to call it) appeared and kicked that monster to the curb.  I was creating like a woman possessed – OLÈ!!

The end result was a combination of food colour and acrylic paint – a similar technique to my Full Moon painting that I recently sold.

Am I happy with it?  Mostly.  I am pleased with the mood or feeling that the colours and background pattern provide.

I like the silhouette in that it depicts a recognisable landmark so it suited the purposes for which it was created.  (There is an aspect I really, really don’t like – I won’t cloud your judgment by telling you – you tell me, if you wish).

The best part – George likes it.  His words “Like it? Love it. Now I am thinking I should keep this for myself. That’s how much I like it.”

That totally made my day – hopefully the recipient of George’s birthday gift feels the same!

This photo, taken by photographer Stephen Ciantar at www.onlyinmalta.com, was both my inspiration and initial torment!

25 thoughts on “Iconically Malta

  1. Absolutely awesome girl! Nothing like the rush you get from absolute appreciation for your work. So proud of you! Love to see that you are following your heart – only good can come of this!

  2. Mich, thanks for the painting. I really loved it. It was as I expected and better. Next order will be for me personally. I will wait until you find your ‘style’ and then find you something that suits it.

    Seeing your enthusiasm, I will one day kick start my photographic portfolio and showcase my photographic skills. I actually had an inspiration about selling my shots. Will tell you all about it next time we catch up 🙂

    • Thanks again, George – I’ll look forward to the next challenge!

      I can’t wait to hear more about your photography – that sounds like an awesome idea! I have some marketing ideas that could assist you with that – let’s brainstorm and get the creativity flowing!!

      • My pleasure.

        When they say you never know when the inspiration to hit you… OMG it is so true. This one hit me in the oddest of times lol. And happy to brainstorm whenever you are free. 🙂

  3. Wow awesome that came out great! I’m really curious what you don’t like. I think the silhouette, the fog wallows in the front and especially the foggie sun are fantastic. Definately reminds me of Europe :-). xx

    • Thanks Anna – it was actually the sun I wasn’t happy with! I’m happy that you like it – as did George and my parents. It is funny how perception works!

      I also love that it reminds you of Europe – I’ve never been there so am pleased I could capture an unfamiliar location. Perhaps next year will see me visit Europe for myself 🙂

      • I had a feeling it was the sun…. But you know what? The Sun plays a bit part in our culture. We have temples older than the pyramids that are aligned to the winter and summer solistice. Plus even today, most maltese will prefer the sun and hot weather to the mild winter months. Our crystal clear waters are something that I have only found at very few beaches here in Australia (so far). 🙂

        So relax, the sun, whether you meant it to be that big, is actually big in our culture. You go that spot on. Now can you stop beating yourself up? Hehehe

  4. My goodness dear lady! You are SO TALENTED and you almost took my breath away when I viewed your beautiful birthday gift for George’s friend. Thank you for sharing that with us. X

  5. I am a huge fan and follower of this artist. Once again this painting will leave a lasting impression in my mind. I believe this talent is destined for the big world…..beautiful….x

    • Thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I did lots of googling for the assignment and I must say it looks like a truly beautiful place, I’d love to visit someday!

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