Commissions , commissions, commissions

Commissions , commissions, commissions


February has become March, and the year trundles on. We walked through a local wood yesterday and I was so thrilled to come across this glade of snowdrops, on closer examination they were going over a bit, but they looked glorious from a distance. Is it my age or have the snow drops been better than ever this year.

The Spring sunshine, here in Devon has also been a joy, although it is cold , these bright days are good for the soul.

My latest obsession is winter trees and shadows, I keep snapping away with my phone hoping to get down to painting them soon, but I am very busy with other things too.

Which is why this week's blog is a revisiting of an older one.

I have collected my unsold pieces from the gallery in Crediton, but Monika ( the owner) was so pleased with my work that she's asked to keep some of my work there .

I have been so lucky to be asked to paint more commissions this month than ever before. This is wonderful as I am always flattered by requests to paint. It is always a challenge to get the piece 'right' for the customer but it also means I have to pull my finger out .

I have branched out a bit with commissions too, including people in my pieces

This was one I did last year, and it will soon be available as a small print.

This piece of three women going for a swim was a very special piece as it meant so much to the daughter who wanted this lasting reminder of her, with her mum and sister

I needed to work so carefully so as to paint them sympathetically , but faithfully too.


It is so scary revealing a piece to a customer, but it can be a moment of real joy. This was one I shall always remember 

I thought some of you may be interested to hear how I go about a 'normal' commission

Firstly someone contacts me and asks details, then I quote a price and the ball is set in motion. I need some clear photos to work from and any specific requirements customers may have. I have learnt from previous experience that it is always good to know things sooner rather than later, and as I have grown in confidence I have learnt to say 'no' when it is something I really feel I can't achieve .

Then I say I am happy to attempt commissions I don't take a deposit as I don't like to feel any more pressure than I do already, I suppose I feel that I can then go ahead and paint the piece freely and if they like it brilliant ! if not I have always learnt something and they are not out of pocket. Fortunately not many commissions are rejected. This isn't standard practice just what works for me.

So I need clear photos

and cats like these become

Or a dog like this ....

Commissions are wonderful things to do. However I have to pace myself and I like to paint a dog or cat or horse or camper van ( for that matter) when I am in the mood to paint them,.

Some days are just not right days for me to paint a cat. So I will paint better when I am in the right frame of mind . I would hope the the people who ask me to paint something for them already like my style of painting , if they want a very precise detailed piece I am not the right person

Then comes the most nerve racking and exciting part, 'the reveal'. Thank goodness for email as usually  I can send an email and wait for a response. Thankfully 9 out of 10 customers are very happy and it feels wonderful to be able to paint something well for someone. The other times are steep learning curves for me and I take it on the chin I always learn something form a painting even if it is only never to try a particular subject again!!


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Do you ever do murals?

Linda Talmage

TOTALLY like your approach and wisdom ….I look forward to your blog and paintings….so full of Life

Barbara Shrider

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