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Nearing the Finish Line…or the Challenges of Commission Work

January 6, 2016

For most artists commission work is a must.  Most times but not always, an artist is asked to paint something that they can really get excited about.  Even though they may be asked to paint a subject that is near and dear to them, the challenge still remains of getting into the head of the commissioner and satisfying their vision for the painting as well as their own vision.

I personally have had several commissions of late and they too have been challenging.  Several months ago I was asked to paint a picture of a hockey player on the ice, actively playing a game.  That same family asked for a painting of one son playing in a football game.  I was excited to give these two paintings a try because after all, I am a closet sports enthusiast.  I just love the action.  Did I get started on these two paintings as soon as I was asked to paint?  Well…  You see, the family asking for the paintings is a hockey family and I mean a real NHL hockey family.  The thing was that I was scared to death to start for fear of not getting it right.  I procrastinated for months until shortly before Christmas I was asked how I was doing because the paintings were to be presents.  Arrrrgh….now not only did I have to over come my fears, I had to do it quickly.  This was likely good because I did not have much time to ‘fiddle’….straight up painting was in order.  Here are the two paintings I completed – in time for Christmas I might add 🙂

inthezone11x14oil                              fortheloveofthegame14x11oil

As it turns out the family liked the paintings….even the kids.  So all that fear for nothing, ha.  I really did enjoy painting motion.  I would do it again if asked and without the fear attached.

My next commission, which I must add was asked for during my ‘upheaval’ period, filled me not with fear but with trepidation.  Not because of the subject matter but because of the size.  I had been longing for a few years to paint ‘BIG’ and now was my chance.  Did I take on the task easily…..well, no.  So, as soon as I finished the team sports I was onto a subject I know well….flowers.  Better do it while I was still feeling confident was my thought.

I decided I was going to paint my garden….at least the garden I use to have and seemingly miss desperately….because the client that commissioned this large piece wanted a bright painting full of flowers and my garden immediately came to mind.  Switching gears so quickly was not as hard as I thought it might be but I think this is mostly because of my methodology/my painting process.  Sometime I should write a bit about that but don’t want people to think I should be seeking help 🙂

This is what I have come up with so far:


It has been loads of fun.  I sent an image to the client today to see if it is what she is looking for and she is so excited that she would like to pick it up right away.  I really must get writing to her to tell her that I need to put the finishing touches on and it HAS TO DRY!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Doug E. Lachance permalink
    January 6, 2016 2:42 am

    Hi Carolynn,

    I’m glad you’re well.

    I too live in Vancouver now and I enjoy your The Tao in Art.

    I still have the commission you did for me of the White Rock pier in winter that I turned into a Christmas card. I love it! Thank you again.

    Warmest best wishes for the future!

    Doug <l:)

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