Would You Paint a Commission?
by Bill Hudson
Recently a repeat patron asked if I would consider doing a commission. “Kristin” lives in New Hampshire with a backyard view of the White Mountains, particularly Mount Lafayette, a prominent peak of New England. She provided this image painted by Thomas Hill in 1870 and requested something similar, but with compositional changes to be made from photographs that she would provide. She wanted a full-sheet image (22” x 30”) and was in no rush. I agreed and together we became a team. I made sketches, she forwarded photos, I submitted quick-study paintings, and she made comments and suggestions.
I have long resisted commission work for many reasons. Most are obvious. They require more time, sometimes necessitate travel and research, and demand customer coordination which can restrict creative freedom. Often, I am simply disinterested in the topic and fortunately not dependent on art for income (I’m just an old retired aerospace engineer).
But when I do accept a commission, I have always finished a better artist, a better person, because I put in that time, research, and coordination. The reward of having a happy customer is why we pursue art … to create something that others admire. A commissioned work is an investment to be owned by someone who originated the concept, became part of the creation, and values the effort far more than any passer-by.
Kristin received the shipped painting last week. That same day I received a letter from Kristin expressing the excitement of her entire family. In her words, she enjoyed the progression “when we start with one premise, and then end up with so much more.”
The epitome of a man reluctant to accept a commissioned work is Michelangelo. He insisted he was first a sculptor as he opposed painting the Sistine Chapel. He walked off the job, then returned …. and his masterpiece followed.
Join me this
Saturday for a workshop from 9:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at
The City of Brea Art Gallery
1 Civic Center Circle
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 990 -7731
Maritime Realism with Watercolor and Casein with Bill Hudson
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Cost: $95 (+supply list)