Several months ago, a friend asked if I would paint a portrait of his significant other, and he had a certain photo in mind. She is a model, and he brought me a magazine that included a feature with her dressed in various fashions, and he had selected one particular shot. He told me that I could take creative liberty with the image to make it something unique, and not simply produce a sort of photo reproduction. In all of my years of painting, I have likely only tried two commissioned portraits, as they can be an impossible task to successfully paint. I told my friend that I could probably do it, but I recommended a portrait painter friend of mine who would certainly do it better… But, my friend wanted me to do it. I told him I would consider, and after a month or so, he got back to me, and I hesitantly accepted the challenge. That was the easy part, for sure. I began the painting in November, and it started smoothly. I even sent him a photo to give him an idea of the direction, and he (and she) loved the progress. Since then, admittedly, I haven’t done much to push it further. Now, I am aiming to have it done by the end of this month… a good deadline is a fine way to motivate. Many artists work best under the pressure of time, and so procrastination is a tool, and the rush of the race amplifies the experience, exponentially. I took this project on because of the challenge (and income), as much of my work utilizes a certain skill set, and something foreign like this painting will stretch my boundaries and technique. I’m not proud of the fact that I don’t push myself out of my comfort zone very often, and I do hope that I can find a way reach that space more regularly… Care to join me in this discomfort, growing?