Commissioning a Painting Forging a unique work of art that is yours, and yours alone
One of my greatest honors as an artist is when a collector turns to me to create a work for them that is uniquely theirs, and theirs alone.
Be it preserving the memory of a special time in their lives, creating a painting with items that are precious to them, or simply asking for the artwork they’ve always wanted but never found, a commissioned painting can be the ultimate statement about who they are and what makes them special.
I’ve helped collectors with large statement pieces that precisely accented an elegant living room, paintings that fit unusual spaces, and works that helped to tell the stories of them and their families. While a portrait records the likeness of the sitter, a still life painting can in many ways be even more personal, bringing together the significant objects that define their lives.
As an example, a couple recently requested a painting that would include many objects that were important to their family life. This included pieces of treasured silver and glassware, flowers from their garden, items their parents had collected on world travels, and crafts their children had made in school. The result was a painting that touched generations and told the story of their lives together as a family.
A commissioned painting is not for most people – not even for most art lovers. It’s not a simple transaction like purchasing a painting from a gallery. Instead, it’s a collaboration between collector and artist, requiring careful thought and communication.
However, if you’re ready to commit to the process and do a little work with me, I can help you forge a truly unique treasure for you and your family.
Commissioned paintings typically have a longer timeline and involve more work that a normal painting in my studio. Because of that, I only have room in my schedule for 6 commissions every year. If you would like to reserve my time to create a special painting for you or as a unique gift for a loved one’s birthday, graduation, retirement, anniversary, Mother’s/Father’s Day, or any other special occassion, please contact me using the form at the bottom of this page.
Commissioning a painting from me is a set procedure which I follow every time. This makes the entire process predictable and smooth, and allows your involvement and input at all points during the creation of the painting.
Either in person, by phone, or by email, we will discuss the commission. It’s important for me to know as much about the painting as possible: who it’s for, the occasion for the commission, what items are to be included, the overall mood of the painting, dimensions, and if possible where the painting will hang. Once this is agreed, I will send you a contract for the work, and request a 1/3 non-refundable deposit for me to begin.
Special and personal objects are often included in these paintings. If possible, it’s always best if I can actually have them to work from directly in my studio. In the case of fragile or particularly valuable items, however, that may not always be possible. In such cases, I will work with you to get careful photographs that I would require to complete the painting.
The next step is to create a number of pencil sketches of the proposed painting, which I send to you for comment. Once a basic composition is agreed, I will create a small sketch in oil. This will allow you to see an approximation of your painting in color, and will also guide my further work. When you have approved the composition and sketches, I request the next 1/3 of the cost of the painting to proceed. It’s important to note that after this point, changes to the design are possible, but will incur further expense.
After this point, I complete the painting itself, frequently posting in-progress images so you can follow the creation. I ask 3 months from the beginning of the project to completion and delivery. This includes a period of drying time at the end before the varnish is applied. The balance of the payment is due upon delivery.
Commissioned paintings do involve a lengthier process and greater risk for the artist (personalized paintings are difficult to sell on the open art market should the final painting be refused). Therefore, the prices are higher than ordinary work.
I do, however, aim to keep these prices as fair as possible for all parties involved. The following is the current price schedule for my commissioned work:
- 11 x 14 inches: $2500
- 16 x 20 inches: $3500
- 24 x 30 inches: $4500
- 30 x 40 inches: $5500
This includes a simple frame in your choice of black or gold leaf. I can also help you find other framing options, often at significantly lower cost than a framer.
I will deliver the painting in person within the Metropolitan Boston area, and will provide an estimate for the cost of all other shipping.
I had the honor and pleasure of doing three significant commissioned paintings in 2017. Click on the images below to go to each painting’s page. There you will find detailed images and blog posts about the works in progress.