Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thoughts on Commissions

Oregon Coast #1 9" x 13"

I've recently finished a commissioned work for an old friend who found me on Facebook, maybe I found him, I can't remember. Still, the fact remains we got in touch. He saw my recent paintings and, most kindly, contacted me about doing a piece using his photography as inspiration. Over the years I've done quite a lot of commissioned work, but until now, I hadn't thought about how they are different than my architectural illustrations and gallery work. They are, in essence, paintings done of a subject you are given and not found yourself. Secondly, someone has asked you to create something with expectations already in mind about the outcome. Both of which are extremely similar to an architect calling you and asking you to complete a rendering for marketing or client needs.

So, how do you keep that vital fresh feeling alive in a commissioned work? Man, I don't know to tell the truth. I have found something useful that tends to bridge the gap though. I'm honest up front that I am not going to do an exact representation of what I see in a photograph. It's got to go through my filter and come out the other end. (insert joke here) Colors, time of day, built elements; well all of it really, is subject to manipulation and changes. I usually ask for many different photos of one subject or multiple photographs showing different subjects and ask that I be allowed to choose what photo or combination is used. This way I get to have the click of the light bulb and if I know anything it’s that little click that means all the difference. I had a great time working on these although I must admit I fussed over the first one and ruined it. You won’t see that here. It’s back in the paper bin awaiting another chance at life as a study.

A good patron hires you. A great one also says go for it. Thanks J.

Marina 13" x 9"

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