An Inside Peek at a Commission Painting
This past holiday season I was thrilled to have many commission painting orders. While all painting commissions are special, there was one painting in particular that I was especially vested in.
When my sweet niece Lucy contacted me during a July heat wave about creating a special painting for her parents for Christmas, I was flattered and a bit nervous. Lucy and her mom are collectors of my work and I am honored that they have my paintings in their homes. How exciting to have the opportunity to add to their collection in such a meaningful way!
For many years the family has vacationed on Cape Cod and their favorite night is when they all go to the Chatham Band Concert. Lucy explained her idea for the painting which was to depict a concert at the Chatham Band Stand with her family on beach chairs or a blanket watching it. Traditionally, the band concert takes place at dusk and there are many families, dogs, and balloons. After our discussion, we agreed that a 20”x24” size would be best and I asked her to take LOTS of photos this year when they were there.
As luck would have it, it rained on the night of the concert and Lucy had no photos! Instead we had to improvise. She sent me photos of her family which was a great base for size and hair color. However all the photos were from the front showing everyone’s faces and I needed to paint everyone from the back ~ yikes! For the bandstand, I did the next best thing to personal photos, I googled it 😉
I also used Google images to get reference photos for a rear view of beach chairs and an adorable Lab similar to the family’s own dog.
I started work on the actual painting in the Fall. Using my reference images, I sketched out the composition and sent it to Lucy for her approval. Lucy said yes, except no people in the background. That was fine with me.
Then I went to the canvas, painting madly and aiming for a mid-December drop off.
I finished on time and had the finished piece framed.
The drop off of the painting was very covert. At a family Christmas party there was a quick exit to the street and then the exchange of a large white fabric covered parcel from one car to another. Lucy had tears in her eyes when she saw it….just the reaction I was looking for.
On Christmas morning, I was with my family in Philly when my phone buzzed with a message. It was from Lucy, she had videoed the opening of the gift and the emotional reactions of her dear parents Kathy and Chris when they saw the painting. It means everything to me as an artist to have this kind of response. We all got teary right along with them.
While this painting commission was a challenge, I did love every minute (mostly). I just kept thinking how special this gift was and how much I love this family. True motivation!
A custom painting is an investment but the memories it can capture are priceless. If you are interested in having me paint a custom commission for you or someone you love, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!