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The Upside of Commissioned Work

December 4, 2012

For many artists commissioned work is stressful.  I happen to be one of those artists.  While I absolutely appreciate the work and the support given by my clients that commission paintings, I find ‘guessing’ what a client might want to be a nerve wracking process.

This past summer I was asked to visit a piece of property to see if I would like to create a painting of the property and the view.  The property has it’s own story which I will protect on behalf of my client but do believe me when I say the story is as lovely as the property itself.  I did love the prospect of doing the painting but wasn’t sure I could do it, or the story, justice.

I walked around a little, taking pictures and getting to know the place a bit.  When I thought I had enough pictures, I hopped into the car and drove off.  That is when the trepidation set in.  How would it be possible to capture that story, that view.

One thing you  must understand about the uncertainty of a commission is that you never take enough photos!  One could take 100 photos and one would be sure they were missing that exact one that would make the painting perfect.  I was sure I hadn’t taken enough photos, the right photos, from the right angles…

Amongst all the second guessing during the painting of this piece, I was comforted by a little voice that would direct me when I wasn’t getting things ‘quite right’.  That little voice seemed to know the nuances of that property very well.  Who belonged to that voice remains a mystery 🙂

As people came to my studio they would comment on how much they liked the painting and a few could even recognize the property from their childhood.  I decided to stop obsessing over the finish and email my client to say that it was done.  I was too nervous to make a call in person.

We got the painting framed and it now sits in it’s new home.  A few days ago I received an email and this is what part of it said:

“You have captured the view,  my memories, and the feeling that I wanted so wonderfully.  It is incredible.  In this big world, we were meant to meet, so that you could give me this gift!

What else can be said.  That is exactly why we painters paint!!

Here is the painting.  It doesn’t really do it justice but you get the idea.


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