Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

All content herein copyright © Lynne Ciacco

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Horsing Around

I was working on a commissioned piece for a few days and am happy to have finished it up recently.  I don't usually do commissions and it was a bit frightening to take on, but an acquaintance of mine was in a sad state over a botched painting she'd had someone do for her as a wedding present for her son and his new wife.  I was given the unsuccessful, matted painting in its frame to work with and pretty much given carte blanche within those confines.  The only indications were that the bride likes horses and folk art.

©2010 L.Ciacco, Sharing, acrylic on paper, 23 x 28 inches

I think this fits the bill, don't you?  It's not a style I usually work in any more, but it was fun to revisit.  I painted it with acrylics on the back of the mat paper as my watercolour paper wasn't big enough.  The paint went on all streaky at first so I had to learn how to apply it in just the right thickness and in layers. 

It's called "Sharing" and I'm sure you all catch the symbolism.

I wonder if anyone reading this has ever been on the receiving end of a piece of art work they didn't like.  (Shirl, please don't answer that!)

Do you think it's a good idea to ever give one's art as a present?  My own experience has been mixed so I tend to only give small works, such as cards or collages that can be easily displayed (or discreetly disposed of).



  1. It's wonderful, wonderful. They will love it. So, you really did it on the back of the original work? Pretty funny. The back is now the front? It's reversible art?

  2. You sure hit the mark...folk art style, horses and a sweetness of love...Bravo!
    I stick with small works and cards but all rarely...most people know what they like and I don't believe I have a clue...I just make the art.

  3. Susan,
    Really, you come up with the best marketing ideas (well, maybe except for those 2012 key chains): Reversible art-- I love it! When you're tired of one side, flip it over to the other. Two for the price of one. And, yes, I really painted on the back of the other painting. It was glued to the mat, so I painted on that.

  4. Blue Sky,
    I guess I hit the mark then with the commission then? Phew! I do think she'll be pleased with her purchase this time.

    I like your attitude about just doing the art and letting people make up their own minds if they like it/want it. It's so limiting to try to paint to please someone else: An imaginary audience/market. I find friends are more than happy to receive a handmade card, though. I like getting them, too, but then there's the dilemma of what the heck to do with them. I guess that's where journals and scrapbooks come in handy...or they could become fodder for another collage! Oh, where does it stop?

  5. @your question about giving art as a present... I've also had mixed reactions. One was such a complete dud that I won't ever give one that hasn't been seen and admired - I mean almost slobbered over-- to the point I am sure they really, really want it-- ever again. As to the dud, it's a long story. and needless to say, my feelings are hurt, but let's just say that I learned my lesson well.

  6. Your painting is absolutely charming! I think it will be a terrific gift for the occasion. I love the way the tree trunk nestles between the horses heads and grows out horizontally along the top. And the textures on the grass perfectly balances it. My favorite is the folk art whimsy of the dotted blue horse.

    I've never given artwork for a gift. I've always sold my art commercially and just always considered it a business. I may revise that stance now that I'm doing photography without considering it as a commercial venture.

  7. First...anything with horses is fine by me especially ones with dots (dappled greys being super)...Second,
    giving art is a bit of a one's own work can be a problem. Your solution to give small items or cards is the best solution!

  8. Lynne, you made it to the Winners' Circle with this one. I love it and am amazed by your ingenuity.

  9. Joyce,
    Good tip about getting someone's reaction first and being sure that they're drooling over that particular piece of art. Too bad about feelings being hurt; have been there myself. Oddly, I don't mind about people not particularly liking my art when it's on public display, I guess because those opinions are counter-balanced with positive feedback, and they're just opinions anyway.

  10. Stickup,
    I do like the adjective "charming" applied to this picture. A polka dot blue horse is my favourite way of depicting a filly. Grey with polka dots if I'm being conservative.

    With the excellence and artistry of you photographs, you may at some point consider them as a commercial possibility. Only then it will take some of the fun away from making them.

  11. Patricia,
    Lovely to see you come riding in on that prancing dappled grey mare! It's been awhile. As I remarked to Stickup above, "polka dot" horses are my favourites. I once saw a wonderful big dappled grey specimen being ridden out into the sea in the north of Prince Edward Island to gather Irish moss and have never forgotten its magic. Maybe I'll use this image in the future for a card.

  12. Shirl,
    The winner's circle! Yay! Do I get a silver cup and big bouquet of roses and my picture taken? Never mind, your praise and encouragement will do nicely.

  13. I love the folk art horses, the colors, the sharing symbolism- wonderful! I'm sure they'll love it.

    I only give my art to someone who I know will love it- meaning, a few close friends and relatives!

  14. Sharmon,
    Yay! Another vote of confidence. I felt I was taking a big risk by accepting the commission, so I'm so relieved it worked out. This is a sneak preview here as the big unveiling for the client has not yet occurred.

    As for giving art to close friends and relatives, I've found that sometimes even that backfires. I think the key, as you say, is knowing that they will love it, which means seeing their reaction prior to giving it as a gift.

  15. To All:

    Thanks for your sharing your feelings about giving away one's art. The concensus seems to be to give it only when certain that the person is already in love with the piece, or to give something small, and easily disposed of/kept/or displayed.

    I think I could make up a new maxim: One artist's treasure is another person's trash!