Thursday 24 January 2013

On commissioning an artwork

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

No comments:

Post a Comment