Friday, August 28, 2015

So You'd Like to Commission a Painting?!

So here it is! This was so much fun ~ having the opportunity to collaborate with some one and make it special, just for them! Cindy had a large space to fill in a room that she was re-doing.  The large bank of windows to the right opened up onto her garden.  Each season, new colors and textures's so beautiful out there, a wonderful, private space. But she was not enamored with the colors and textures of winter. She wanted bright color in her room of soft neutrals, with a bright pop to really draw your eye to this focal point....and celebrate the garden that she enjoys so much in the Spring and Summer. 
When Cindy first came to me for a commission, she wasn't sure where to start. She said, "I love your paintings - I love looking at them when I receive your emails, but I'm just not sure where to begin".  This is a normal question! My job is to help you determine the colors and theme of what you prefer, narrow some choices, and hone in on a design meant for your space.  I have a list of questions for my collectors to help me determine what may fit their space.  If the collector is local, I can go to their house with sample canvas sizes, so they can "lay eyes" on how that size canvas fits the space...and if they prefer framing I can provide that as well.  
My prices are based on price per square inch.  I send the list of "price per size" immediately when someone first makes a commission request. That way they can determine what will fit their space, and their budget. Once the size and format is agreed upon, I write up everything we've discussed in an email - so the project is clear, beginning to end; and request a 50% deposit before I begin. That allows me to purchase not only materials for the painting, but the time to put into it that won't be used painting other paintings! 
Once a basic format is decided upon (square, or rectangular, and the size),  I will draw up to four various designs to help narrow down the selection.  Once I make a basic drawing, I'll work up a smaller painting as a 'color study' to scale, so that the collector can imagine the finished piece, make any color corrections, or design changes at that time. Only once those are finished, and presented we can discuss which might work best in the space for the painting.  
For this project - which was to be a 36"x36"x2" deep, I did the paint sketches on 8"x8" panels. Here's the four we considered:
Study for Cindy's Garden
Coral Begonias
Cherry Tree Fantasy
Blossoms in Shade
These gave us some various ideas to discuss. Mainly- a good idea of how color will look.  She knew she wanted a coral-orange color within the design to bring a big pop of color to the room, that she could repeat with various other accessories (pillows, etc). Each of these had the color in there to some degree. We both love florals, but to have this design (#2-begonias) as a 36x36 was just overwhelming. So that narrowed things down to 'just landscapes'- still a broad category!
Selection #3 (Cherry Tree Fantasy) was painted thinking of all the great shapes in her back-garden landscape. Each season something new comes into bloom...but here I played a "what if". What if the blooms of the cherry tree were a bit more coral, rather than soft pink?...and what if it bloomed the same time as the hydrangea? For gardeners of course this question is ridiculous, but from a purely artistic question- an expressionist/colorist question it begged to be asked.  
The fourth color sketch chose another area under the delicate limbs of yet another weeping cherry tree in their yard. Yes, their landscape has some wonderful shapes and textures in there! 
Finally, the first sketch was chosen and the next part of the work continues- onto the large canvas itself!  I always tell my collectors, the longest part of the time takes place in the planning.  Once everything is in place and the actual commissioned work begins, things come together rather quickly. Then it's time for a viewing! The final bill is due when the work is finished, prior to delivery. For local collectors, I can come and hang the painting for you. It's a special privilege for me to take part in these "collaborative commissions".  It brings me great joy to help collectors celebrate and commemorate a special time in their lives! 
 For the collector in our story above, there will always be a colorful reminder of the beauty that exists under all the snow during winter; a celebration of all her hard gardening work the rest of the year; and a joy to share with family and friends.   I am extremely grateful to be a part of that shared happiness!! 





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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Roses and Red Bowl

12"x12"x1" oil on cradled archival panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 
Roses from my garden in June, a red and ivory bowl from a visit to France, and an antique tea cup rimmed in blue and gold....just a few of my favorite things!

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