Recently, at work I was sitting at my desk doing awesome insurance-like things when my boss came over. I figured it was something to do with the recent "SME" work I've been doing (that's Subject Matter Expert to you. Booyah!) I was on the phone at the moment discussing something very important with my favorite collegue Kevin from Dallas. I politely told him to hold for one moment and lowered the phone to see what Fern wanted. She told me I could finish the conversation and then give her a ring. When I called her I was delightfully surprised to be invited into her office as she wanted to discuss something not work-related - a painting from me for her daughter Brooke's Bridal Shower.
Now one of the cool things about Fern is not only does she know who Romero Britto is, but she OWNS a Romero Britto. Seriously, like a real one. When I was asked to photograph Brooke and her fiancee's engagement party back in August, I got to see it. To say the least, it was beautiful and I am totally lime green Jell-o. One day. One day I will own one too. Who knows, maybe I'll get to meet him and we could trade paintings!
Anyway, back on track, Fern wanted a Romero Britto inspired painting as the gift from the bridal party to the bride. I instantly accepted and got to work finding the Romero Britto piece to use as inspiration. A little bit of googling later I found the piece and I got my sketch:
Once I had the sketch it was time to start with the painting. I have learned from all the other myriads of Britto paintings that the key is, start with the people and work your way out.
What I forgot was that I tend to HATE the paintings until I get the black lining in. Last week on Saturday, I had a mini-melt down about how terrible it was coming out and how Fern wouldn't like it. From there, the painting just turned more and more stressful. I wasn't liking the colors of the background - where the aqua was I had breght green and the whole top was dark blue. The heart looked incomplete and I didn't know how to fill in all of the background - I didn't have the wings added yet so there was a lot of dead space in the background. The painting was just turning into a stress mess. Not only was I doing this for my boss, but she is a fellow Romero Britto aficionado and I was cutting it close to the deadline. Not good at all.
I didn't make the progress I needed last weekend. That meant the entire next week, I needed to spend literally EVERY moment not at work painting. Working out? Don't think so. Going to dinner at Oliver Garden with Ryan? Not so much. Game night with Matt Siciliano? Nope. On top of the non-progress I made, I didn't even know how to proceed and now I was getting stress headaches.
Then Monday, I had a breakthrough. I remembered another Romero Britto design I liked that was on the bag I got when I bought something at Britto Central in Miami. I hopped on google again and typed in "Romero Britto hearts". I found the following image and the rest of the painting materialized in my head:
From there I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday holed up in my room marathoning season 1 of Friday Night Lights as Ryan sat next to me and kept me company. Friday I brought it in to Fern. I couldn't have been more excited. Giving the painting to the client is always my favorite part. It is the payoff for all the hard work I put into it. First, I've never had a client who hasn't loved the end result, and second, I get money.
This painting has definitely made it to my favorite painting list. I think it is a perfect representation of happiness, love and the vibrancy of life. It's so amazing to be able to do something that I love and that brings light into and becomes part of someone else's life forever.
Best wishes to Brooke and Jon <3