Commissions: Fabric, Colours, Memories

Commissions are becoming a larger part of my studio practice. I used
to feel quite daunted by the challenge of painting the contents of another person’s imagination, but I now enjoy learning how
to filter these external ideas through my own style. A recent example is painting a sunset sky. I could paint it realistically, but then it wouldn’t look like one of my paintings . The greatest challenge is converting the outside world, into my painterly version. It’s much harder
than painting to my own demands, but the potential for unanticipated learning is endless.

Due to the way I use fabric in my work, commissioning a painting can involve selecting fabric and is therefore quite a creative process. I have previously worked with fabric of personal value, a design that matches a room, something that adds to the meaning of the painting, or simply a fabric that has caught the
collector’s eye.

Sometimes a colour scheme is discussed, or it could be an overall feeling that is desired (soft, relaxing, powerful, striking, contemplative, mysterious, etc). There are also occassions where I am asked to be fully led by my instincts - for example when the commission is to create something similar to a sold painting, or to a specific size.

When I feel the painting is nearly ready, I send on a photo to the collector
and have a discussion about how they feel about it. I would never
declare a painting finished until the collector was totally happy - I
hate the thought of creating something that was made other than a positive impact on a wall.

I am traditionally a portrait painter, though began exploring landscape
and still life from 2016 onwards. As a result, I am open to painting
most subjects - though I will be honest if I feel a subject cannot adapt
to my practice or style. In the past I have painted relatives or friends, places or landscapes of sentimental value, and
recreated the colour schemes of sold paintings with new fabrics and

Pricing is based on the size of the painting, but factors such as detail are considered too. I try not to take more than one large commission each month, so the commission
process usually takes around 6-8 weeks - this really does depend on the
weather too. Oil paint dries much slower is cold weather, therefore
painting is a much quicker process with warm sun to dry the layers of

Commissions are a conversation, so feel free to get in touch with any questions you have - even if you’re just at the early stages of an idea. You can read a bit more on my website HERE or send me an email to chat more.

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