Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

To Do Or Not Do Art Commissions?

Hot Fields, Cool Mountains
by Judith Flynn Lochbrunner
mixed media on canvas
12 x 12 inches
(new work in my abstracted landscape series)

Recently I was checking the latest post from an artist whose work I find absolutely spectacular.   While I was admiring her latest painting I noted that she had written "no longer taking commissions, indefinitely".

I was quite surprised at the tone of the statement.  It gave potential buyers a big sign saying "go away" which could not have been her intention.   Asking for a commission should be a starting point and not an ending.

Some artists work entirely on commissions; a painting is not started unless it has already been sold.  Others refuse commissions entirely like the artist described at the top of the blog.  However most artists are somewhere in the middle with an "it all depends" and I am one of them.

The middle ground of "it all depends" serves everyone's needs.   Often the buyer seeking a commissioned work has not seen all of the work available by the artist.   Once the entire inventory is viewed the desired painting may already be completed and ready to buy.

Sometimes immediate obligations and commitments prevent the artist from accepting any new commissions.  It is always a good idea to ask about the buyer's timeline.  The buyer could be building a new home and not need the painting for another year or more thereby allowing the artist time to complete the commission at a later time.

Lastly, after discussing the commission with the potential buyer the artist may realize that he/she is not the best match.   In this case, the artist can draw upon the local arts community and suggest other artists that do the type of painting that the buyer wishes.  

I recently accepted a commission to do a dog portrait.  It has been a while since I have painted a commissioned work and the last one was also for a dog -- well actually three, together in one painting.  I accepted this offer for several reasons:  I am familiar with the breed,  the timing was good as I have work already finished for fall art shows, painting something a bit different always seems to provide inspiration for other works, and it is an opportunity to form a new friendship.

The drawing is completed and the design has been approved and colors have been selected -- it is time to paint that puppy!  Be sure to check back for updates.   If you have not done so, sign up to receive my blog by email.

(Hot colors in the perennial beds this week.)

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  
And please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on commissions.

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