I recently received a commission to create two paintings for a specific space in a stairwell. The prospective owners had a theme in mind, buildings and furniture, and let me make of it whatever I wanted. The only restrictions were the sizes of the pieces – one was to be 20″ x 24″ and the other 36″ x 24″.
I thought it sounded like a great assignment. Now, usually I don’t accept commissions; I find them nerve-wracking. Past experience has taught me that it can be difficult to work freely when there is a specific buyer with specific wants, and I don’t like to disappoint anyone, including myself! But this particular couple was familiar with my work and I just felt that things would go well for all of us.
So, I set to work. I had decided to make extra paintings and therefore would be able to give some choices, since I had plenty of time to work. I have learned that if it’s practical to make multiple pieces for a commission, it’s a great idea to do so for me, since I don’t feel that the fate of the world rests with one picture!
For the buildings, I used some photos I had taken of houses in Allentown, PA, for models, putting them in my own arrangements and colors.
For the furniture, I used my imagination. I really love to paint interior scenes like these – I have always thought chairs and sofas and tables have as much individuality as people do.
But what made this assignment special was the chance to concentrate on the theme of houses and homes – I have a life-long love of residential architecture. Houses under construction, open houses, house tours, model rooms in furniture stores, dollhouses, house plan books – I’ve spent many happy hours involved with houses and homes. And to make things even better, I learned that the buyers also felt this way about houses, inside and out. What a nice addition to the experience for me!
In the end, I think everyone was happy with the results, and two were chosen and taken away. The other three are still in my studio – I’m enjoying looking at them and remembering the experience.
Thank you, Geoff and Susan, for your faith in my work.