Over the past year I've worked on a number of private commissions, read here about two of them.
Working to commission is very different from preparing for an exhibition. With exhibitions I generally have free reign within a specific theme. One might imagine commissions would be restrictive but I don't tend to find that the reality. I enjoy the process.
I try to have an initial meeting with my customer, getting to know them and what they might like. Then I go away and produce preparatory sketches to give ideas of colour, composition, content, size. A second meeting to discuss what's liked more and less out of what I've done so far. Then I get started.
I'm always happy to be approached to discuss possible commissions - do get in touch!
In exchange for physio
In the summer of 2012, I delivered a painting of the Wallace Monument to the physiotherapist whose practice (Physiocube, Edinburgh) has been such a help to me since the onset of my RSI in 2010. It's a pleasure to be given opportunity to exchange service for service, rather than service for money. And if Picasso could pay for hotel bills using drawings and sketches...
|Wallace Monument, acrylic on board, 45x82cm|
A retiring doctor
Also in 2012 I was commissioned by my local doctor's surgery to paint the retirement gift of one of Linlithgow's longest standing GPs. This commission was a real treat to work on as over a morning coffee and chat what Dr MacKenzie decided he'd most like was a scene of nearby Blackness Castle and shore - where it turned out both he and I often go birding.
I made a few trips with my watercolours and produced various sketches to gather information and to start to think about what might work most successfully. After more coffee and chats I began the painting proper. The finished painting is acrylic on board and features a foreground oystercatcher - one of the species of wading birds regularly seen on the Blackness mudflats.
|The final painting - Blackness Castle with oystercatcher, acrylic on board, 40x50cm|
|Blackness Castle (3), watercolour & acrylic, 28x38cm|
|Blackness Castle (1), watercolour, 28x38cm|
|Blackness Castle (2), watercolour, 28x38cm|
|oystercatcher sketches, Mary Erskine playing field, pencil in sketchbook, 14.5x20.5cm|
Two other paintings inspired by my initial Blackness sketches:
A painting of the castle, donated to Edinburgh's bi-annual Postcards for Sick Kids exhibition to raise funds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation - "Helping sick kids and their families since 1992."
|Donation to Postcards for Sick Kids 2012 - Blackness Castle, acrylic on board, 15x20cm|
The other shows a shelduck with the Forth Bridges behind - only two bridges, so it'll soon become a historical document.
|Blackness sketches, shelduck, (1), pencil in sketchbook, 14.5x41cm|
|Blackness sketches, shelduck, (2), pencil in sketchbook, 14.5x41cm|
|shelduck studies, pencil & watercolour, 14.5x21cm|
|shelduck, Tadorna tadorna, acrylic, 14.5x21cm|