Commissioned work is an artist's greatest challenge and privilege! Whether working from a photo, sketch, childhood memory, or rough idea, my goal is to create an original piece of artwork, working in partnership with the client; to transform the client's vision, blended with my skill and stlye, into a reality on canvas.
I have had the pleasure of tackling this challenge many times. I appreciate each client I have worked with, as it has always been a team effort. Although commissioned work can be challenging, it is always ripe with reward. I welcome the opportunity to grow as an artist through commissioned work.
The process starts with a conversation about ideas, colors, subject matter and feelings the client wants to convey in the piece. I then provide thumbnail (small) sketches, working out composition, balance and other artsy things....then I get feedback from the client on these sketches. Sometimes tweaks are needed, more sketches, more collaboration but eventually, when everyone is happy, I get started on the painting. When the painting is about 90% complete I send a photo of it to the client, small adjustments can be made at this point. Once complete the painting is varnished and delivered or shipped to the client and my work is done!
I am please to say, I have not had a dissatisfied client to date.
Below are a few commissioned pieces I have painted in recent years... and the stories behind them.
Together on the Prairies
20 x 30
I painted this piece for a married couple who have spent a lifetime together on the prairies. After his terminal cancer diagnosis, this is how they chose to remember their years together. His wish, that she could look at this painting everyday to remember him and their love for the prairies, their roots and life together.
The white house and red barn from her family farm, the bright sun breaking through the clouds...a memory of life and love together. An absolute honour for me to paint for them.
"Julie, I thought I'd tell you how much we are enjoying the painting. I was thinking of you as I was driving through the beginnings of a thunderstorm. The clouds and light were just like they are in your paintings! Thank you again for bringing us this joy."
'52 Chevy Classic
12 x 24
This piece was a new challenge for me because it did not allow for the same level of whimsical creativity that a natural scene would... I had to NAIL-IT or the Chevy just wouldn't look like a Chevy! And I loved every minute of it! I have a soft spot for old trucks and although (as seen in my previous work) I lean toward the junkyard variety, the unblemished gleam of this beauty won me over with every stroke of my brush. The story behind it is just as polished. The proud owner of this mint classic, heartbreakingly, had to sell it and use the money to put himself through college years ago...and was left always wondering what became of his old classic.
30 x 36
The lovely couple who commissioned this piece were return customers. I am so thankful for their support of my work! Together we met to discuss their hopes and vision for this piece, I returned for a second meeting with sketches, working off photos they had provided. We made a few minor adjustments and I was set free to paint. They did not want to see the painting until it was done, stressing, "we love your style and trust your skill." ...or something like that! Anyway, those are the words every artist wants to hear and they truly blessed me by saying them!
12 x 24
This bright & bold piece was commissioned by a bright & bold woman who I'm blessed to call my friend. She had previously purchase a poppy painting from me, I love repeat customers! Her first piece was also a 12 x 24 canvas so her hope was to hang the two as a pair. I have since had the privilege to see them hanging together in her livingroom and I'm so thankful that she enjoys them!
Still Standing Strong
36 x 60
A fabulous friend of mine commissioned this piece. It has significant sentimental value for her and was a surprise anniversary gift for her husband. The tiny structure seen on the horizon line is the old country church they were married in years ago. The storm has just past and the chapel stands strong and unshaken ... a beautiful testament to a marriage that has stood the test of time.