Updated: Jul 2, 2020
Many artists I know don't accept commission work. They don't like the hassle. The "what ifs" that come with helping a client get a visual in their head on paper. On the other hand, I think it's a neat process. Over the last few years, I have commissions to thank for really stretching my artistic boundaries. Here is a look at a few recent commissions and what I've learned from them.
1) Boundary #1: Medium. I typically work in watercolor. I have some experience with other mediums, but they just aren't what I'm comfortable with right now. I recently had a client who wanted a large painting (more about that later) but also didn't want to have to frame it behind glass. Framing behind glass is expensive when you are talking about such a large piece. Not to mention the glare. So I decided to go out on a limb and try something new for this client.
I had heard about watercolor boards (commonly called Aquaboard) but they didn't come very large. I had also done a few watercolors on a new canvas product called "yes! boards" or "Yes! canvas". In this case, I went from a 12"x12" canvas size to a 4'x6' canvas size. What a leap!
Due to my recent experience with watercolor on canvas, now I can start telling more people about that option.
2) Boundary #2: Subject Matter. If I hadn't been approached by a realtor one day to do a house portrait for one of her clients, I may never have gotten into this part of my business! The house portraits have been a bread-and-butter part of my business for years now, and I may never have done the first one if I hadn't been asked.
3) Boundary #3: Size
This is the most common request I have for commissions. Someone says " I like that one, but can you do it larger?" My response has typically been "Yes, I can do it up to the size of a full watercolor sheet (which is around 22" x 30")." Lately, though, even those boundaries have been blown out of the water. I researched how to work with rolled watercolor paper, how to stretch it, how to get it steamed for framing, bought larger brushes, etc. Here is a photo of me working on a 42" x 72" watercolor on paper.
So in conclusion, I want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to all of you (you know who you are), who have asked me to do a commission for you over the years. It's an honor and a privilege to have you invite my artwork into your home for generations to come. To learn more about working with me on a custom art piece, check out my commissions page.
"An art-filled home reflects your soul, then preaches it back to you every day." ~Elizabeth Sheats