Project Big Red Storm - Caroline Ashwood

June 27, 2019 1 Comment

It started with a simple sketch

When I get a brief like this, yipee - I'm mighty glad that I have a large, basic studio (industrial unit) instead of a charming, garden art studio. (I love the idea of a summer house/artist haven - alas not practical for me and my whopping big canvases).

My client sent me a rough hand drawn sketch with measurements for me to decipher and some pictures of the wall space for their statement art peice. First steps - I made some suggestions for size options and created a visual to show the scale.

My client had already identified the styles they liked browsing through my art archives on my website. Eventually narrowing it right down to their chosen one. A hefty 3.4 x 2.3 metre abstract landscape in vivid colours of red, blues, greens and gold.

commission large art

The scary blank canvas stage

It's at this stage that I think, Oh my! Where do I start? However, as soon as I put paint brush in hand and get paint mixed, the nerves fade and creative instinct kicks in. Phew!

bespoke canvas sizes

I wish I had a 'Mission impossible' style harness

Applying the base layers of colour was pretty straight forward. When it came down to the artistic detail and the nitty gritty paint techniques, I had to make sure I did my warm up exercises first. Stetching to the centre section of such a vast canvas was somewhat challenging! What I really needed was a harness that lowered me down over the painting - Mission impossible style. Or, do you recall the toy in the 90's called Stretch Armstrong? He had super bendy arms and legs that extended to the length he needed them to. Ah well, next time.

Blooming Weather!

After adding finishing touches, it was time for the photography. Just one snag, The studio was not wide enough for me to stand back from the painting to capture it all in one frame. Hmm, it needed to be shot outside then. Another snag. The weather. It had been raining solidly for a month in Yorkshire. We started with hourly weather checks. Quick! Window of opportunity. it's stopped raining! Get the canvas outside to photograph now! We literally had a hour before the rain started again.

large original art

Blood, sweat and swearing

Turns out the painting of the canvas was the easy part. Packing was a mammoth task. 3 men, 2 rolls of bubble and 1 bloody thumb later, the painting was securely in it's shipping frame. 

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3 Men and a scaffolding platform

Shipped safey and ready for hanging. If you have 3 men and a scaffolding platform handy, then hangings a doddle! Worth all the effort though. 'Big Red Storm' hangs proudly in place overlooking some stunning scenery. Want to commission me to paint your statement piece? Get in touch.


1 Response


November 29, 2019

What a great commission piece! Would have been great to see the in-progress shots if you would have had a mission impossible style harness, I hope you are investing for next time! Well done on all the hard work – it looks great!

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