Commissioning a landscape

Commissioning a landscape

Posted by Jamie on Sep 26th 2016

It is pretty cool to be asked to commission a piece of art for someone, but a bit scary, too. While realistically I know that people that commission my work and have chosen me for my portfolio and my style, insecurities can get the best of me and I worry that my work may not be enough.

My dear friend Anne recently had the amazing opportunity to take a trek through Glacier National Park and parts of Canada (take me there now please thx) and commissioned me to translate one of her photographs into a painting to commemorate her trip. 

We started by going through some of her favorite photographs and memories and began working from there. Some amazing photographs don't work as paintings - photography is its own art form. Personally, I often find life in my paintings when I take on an edited composition. Boring can be cool, guys. Unfortunately for me, all of Anne's photos were stunning (THANKS ANNE) and I had to be brave enough to take on all this beauty. We eventually landed on the photo above, which worked well for the size she was commissioning and had a lot of fun details.

The finished painting for this piece turned out a lot more vibrant than I anticipated, but I just couldn't stay away from those blues and purples. I kept Anne, I mean, the client, apprised as I was working to make sure the direction I was taking was not too far off and she could deal with those purples, too. I love feedback and especially on a commission I want to be sure the client is happy.

Anne had this beautiful perspective, "It occurs to me that while I love the picture I took while standing in that spot, the painting actually triggers more of the 'experience' of standing there because it's abstracted which is more of how real life works (not static like a photo).

Also, sometimes when it's a painting for a dear friend you write an inside joke on the back and then laugh and laugh and laugh when you think about how it might be misunderstood by future generations. For the record, I'm not a creeper.

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