My latest commission was a rather challenging request. My client asked for something based on the traditional Mexican folk art of olinàla, or oil painted furniture. The idea was to work within the tropes and design style of the technique, but instead of layers of paint, it would be layers of paper. I have done multi-layer designs before, but this one has five layers that have to stack up exactly in order for the shapes to line up properly. At 24″ across, this proved to be quite challenging.
Part of the design had to include some personal imagery. Swing dancers, frogs, and ice cream cones–the entire thing is extremely joyful and the colors match the festive mood of the design. I was very pleased with it once I got to see it finished.
It is always very satisfying to see a design take shape. I know what it will look, but to actually see something that only existed in my imagination right there in front of me is a special feeling. There is a magic to putting all the pieces together and seeing them in front of you.
The flowers are the anchor that keeps the design grounded in the traditional motifs of olinàla. These type of desert flower are a recurring element in much of Mexican folk art.
It is very enjoyable to research styles that will be incorporated into a design. It broadens my visual language and exposes me to art that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. It’s one of the more satisfying parts of taking a custom order.