Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On saying goodbye

Tonight I am boxing up my aforementioned commissioned piece of the Chicago city skyline. If you don't remember it, here she is:

Chicago city skyline - Chicago, Illinois; Acrylic on stretched canvas; 48" x 24"

I created this piece upon request for a fantastic customer and patron of my work. This isn't his first rodeo with Heidi Keyes Art, as I did another commissioned piece for him last summer. He lives in a 'burb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is just a short jaunt down to Chicagoland. We agreed upon the perfect size; otherwise his only request was "the Chicago skyline at sunset". From the last piece I did for him, I knew what colors he likes and what he values in a piece of art. I ran with it. 

It thrills me when customers come back to me for repeat work, and it's been happening quite a bit lately. You can't please everybody, but dammit I try, and having folks sign up for round 2 means I must be doing something right.

I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here, but I ended up loving this piece. I loved the colors we chose together and how spontaneous but calculated the skyline ended up. I can't even take credit for that; I mean, I hold the paintbrush, but a lot of the successful aspects in my work are left to chance and riding on a feeling. I experimented with some new techniques and materials, and added some metallic acrylic paint to really highlight the "setting sun" effect. At the risk of sounding like a lonely and pathetic person with numerous cats (I only have one), as I work on a piece, it becomes like a child to me. When I work on a commissioned piece, I know I'm giving that piece up for adoption as soon as I'm finished, but I cherish it none-the-less. Here's the thing: when I successfully complete a piece, I feel like a little bit of me exists within that completed work that wasn't there before, and I can't remember how it was before that time.

It's really strange; the whole thing is. It doesn't change, no matter how many pieces I sell. I'm like a mother rabbit, just popping out baby bunnies.

Here she is, getting into her box for her big trip across the country.

Farewell, my heart.

Seriously though, my customers are awesome. My mind is blown with the support that surrounds myself and my work, and I have commissioned pieces to work on and contracts to fulfill through the end of the Summer. This is so awesome, sometimes I find myself smiling when I'm staring up at the ceiling in the dark before I fall asleep.

Another awesome thing is that the music video I live-painted in with singer/songwriter (and my adoring boyfriend), John Statz, was RELEASED TODAY. I knew this was coming to fruition, but I actually found out because I woke up this morning to realize that my mother had re-posted the vid on Facebook. She was the first one. I'm not sure how she found it, but I like to think she woke up at 3:30 a.m. to frantically check YouTube for her daughter's name, like a kid on Christmas. Maybe she stayed up all night; I'll have to ask her when I get a chance. My mom is my number one supporter, and I know this because she uses at least 5 exclamation points when she posts anything about my work. The amount of exclamation points Mavis uses on Facebook is directly related to her passion for the post.

Here's the video. Take a look-see; I think it ended up pretty great:

John Statz - Distance from Matt Woods on Vimeo.

Also, thanks to my mom for being a good sport when I make fun of her extravagant punctuation. I love her! 


  1. Great post. With every painting one does one gains experience, insight, satisfaction...you have to give up the actual painting but you've got those things for keeps.

  2. I completely agree, Benco. With each piece of artwork I create, I feel like I grow a little more as an artist and as a person.

  3. Great post Heidi and I can truly relate ! I share so much of myself with each piece of art I paint... we make the invisible, visible :) Your piece is fantastic... bright... dazzling, strong and courageous skyscrapers rising to lofty heights (just like you :) jacqui xo

  4. So glad to hear things are good for you. I have been sending a lot of paintings out lately and I've found some of them quite hard to let go of ... but they're quickly forgotten once the next one is underway! Congratulations to John for a great song, and the film clip totally works :)