i’m not alone

acrylic, acrylic painting, art, figurative painting, mary gaspar art

Commissions can be both thrilling and extremely daunting as an artist. You are given the responsibility of bringing to fruition someone else’s vision. Sometimes that vision can be extremely specific and other times very loose.

My latest painting was commissioned by a talented female theatre director around town, some one who lives and breathes art, music and the fine skill of conveying storytelling. She was open to ideas and had a specific size in mind as she wanted to have a painting above her bed in the scale and shape to serve as a headboard of sorts.

As we discussed her color scheme, coordinating with her bedroom, we decided on a palette of deep red, gold, forest green and navy. Looking through my portfolio she pointed out pieces I had done that spoke to her.

She liked the graphic quality of Sally…

Sally, 16 x 20, Sold.

Sally, 16 x 20, acrylic on canvas

The moodiness of That Night…

That Night, 22 x 28, Sold.

That Night, 22 x 28, acrylic on canvas.

and the colors and texture in Winter Orchid.


I went from this list of subject matter she was drawn to as well:

  • botanicals
  • trees
  • wind/movement
  • figurative subject matter (faces and silhouettes of people)

And sketched out these ideas.

These are the three drawings I came up with.



Treewoman-Azar Commission

She picked the last one…which happened to be the first sketch I did!

So I embarked on creating the tree woman as I started calling her.

Here is me the first night with the 24 x 48 canvas. I did the sketch in charcoal and painted it with a deep red as I had done in the sketch.


I added layer after layer of the color scheme that was planned, adding washes of gold paint to bring out a sparkly sheen.

DSC_0394I also used ink to define parts of the woman and achieve a sketchy quality.

This is the final piece and I titled it i’m not alone. It was definitely partly inspired by the lush melodies and evocative, moody lyrics of one of my favorite bands, The National (whom the client also happens to love). She was extremely happy which is always a relief and joy! To be able to create something that speaks uniquely to someone and that no one else will ever have.


i’m not alone, 24 x 48, acrylic and ink on canvas

3 thoughts on “i’m not alone

  1. Wow…I love how you walk through the whole process of the artwork. Very inspirational.

    I’m also a fan of The National and especially love ‘Big Red Machine’ which features Justin from Bon Iver
    Check it out…

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