Friday, February 21, 2014

A Tale of Two Paintings

Farmers Fortune
43cm x 53 cm Acrylic on watercolour paper ©2013 Tracey Hewitt
Let me tell you a story about these paintings. Our local ambulance officer is a beautiful lady who grew up in Tonga. (her name is Sela, and she has the most dazzling smile I think I have ever seen). She was visiting our local exhibition last year, and admired Farmers Fortune very much, but wished it had a thatch hut and a palm tree instead of a house and a windmill. For me, this painting speaks of hot dry days, and the relative harshness of this life on the land, as well as the breathtaking beauty of sunsets and open spaces. A farmers fortune seems to be paradoxical - harsh, tough and frustrating, while at the same time full of beauty, awe and connection to the earth. Sela, saw something else. She saw the skies, seas and sunsets of her birthplace. A kind of magic danced in eyes as she stood and looked at it. Seeing her respond and relate to it so strongly is the kind of connection we artists hope for - a deeply satisfying experience.

A delightful conversation later, she commissioned me to create her vision on a large canvas (the piece I painted for her is roughly twice the size of the original).

Now, I tried earnestly to convince Mission Control that I needed to visit Tonga so as to bring a level of great authenticity to this piece. Thank goodness for Google Image searches! While restful hours on a Tongan beach remain beyond my reach for the time being, it has, in the course of creating this piece, made it's way onto my Bucket List - the more you learn about a place, it's appeal grows infinitely greater.

Tongan Treasures
105cm x 75cm Acrylic on canvas  ©2014 Tracey Hewitt 
 Sela took delivery of Tongan Treasures, with it's thatched palm hut and pair of palm trees - to represent her and her husband - last week; a gift to herself for one of those birthdays with a zero on the end.

To say it was a pleasure to create for her is an understatement - creating a piece with a specific person in mind is possibly one of my favourite things to do, and Sela's enthusiasm for it when it was delivered was infectious and delightful.

In the meantime, Farmers Fortune is still quietly and patiently waiting for the person to whom its story whispers to come along and give it a home. I'd love to know what story it tells you?


Gail said...

Tracey , these are so cool and I'm so please for you that Sela seen the same in her commissioned piece as in your original Aussie one. Congratulations and well done!!!

Tracey Hewitt said...

Thanks Gail! I'm still on a bit of a high after Sela's enthusiasm and appreciation. She's a gorgeous girl, and I really did love doing this for her.