Monday, 4 April 2011

Artistic explorations: Commission Whirling Wave

A few months ago, one of my kayak friends asked me whether I could make him a painting of the sea. I was absolutely delighted to receive my first official commission! To get an idea of what type of image he wanted, I asked him to send me some photos that would show the right atmosphere. These are a few but you can see more of this amazing photographer on Flickr under Qayaq:

©Tadhg MacConeely

©Tadhg MacConeely

©Tadhg MacConeely

I found another image online which gave me more insight in movement, colours, tones and contrast:


At the same time, we were asked to create a self-motivated painting at art class which would be exhibited at the end. I used my painted studies as preparation for the final commission painting for that. After seeing my first study of a section of the above image, my teacher told me it resembled the way artist Joan Eardley painted; thick with lots of texture. So I tried to get as much information about her as possible and found this image (which is only half of the painting) that would take me and my painting further.

Left side of Foam and Blue Sky ©Joan Eardley

So far so good. But then I realised that my friend wanted to have a painting as big as a door! My garden studio wouldn't be big enough to manage this, so I decided to divide the image into three panels, each 56 cm x 42 cm in size. By using thick acrylics and only a palette knife, I tried to feel and transfer the flow onto paper by shaping and creating texture in the paint. It was really liberating! This is the result:

Whirling Wave ©Fenfolio 2011

Close-up of Whirling Wave ©Fenfolio 2011

The painting was exhibited at art school recently and my friend really liked it so very soon it will actually be hanging in his place!


  1. I really like the waves, exhilarating!

  2. Wow! I'd like to have a talented friend like you lol - did your friend appreciate your work?

  3. Oh, thanks so much!! He was (and still is) thrilled with it.