Commission work! Always an exciting and daunting thing to do, but it's all good when the clients love it in the end and the artist is happy too!
This one has a bit of a story. The couple that ordered the painting, had seen my 'Vinterhimmel' exhibit and fell in love with my favourite painting of same exhibition of the same island, Godøya. However it got sold on the first day, so wasn't available anymore. I asked them if they would like to commission a painting instead. After explaining the process they agreed and I got to work.
They really wanted it as a piece that would go into the husbands office, but they were just planning to take their family on a year adventure to Australia and so wanted the painting in their house there to have a piece of home with them on the wall.
So I painted it on canvas, stretched on board, so I can easily take it off and roll it, so they can take it to a framer there to be stretched again (and then taken down again).
I love that this painting will have two purposes - first a memory of their home ein Norway and then also after the year it will at the same time carry the memories from the year spend abroad and lighten up the office with sunny memories, even though it depicts a very typical cloudy dramatic day here in Sunnmøre on Norways west coast.
Commissioning a painting might first sound scary, because you naturally fear that you could dislike the painting in the end. - Like buying the cat in the bag, as we say in Germany. And that is a fair concern when you don't know the process or the artist.
I always think selling a painting is a bit like matchmaking. You don't just buy art like you would something else for your home. You kind of have to fall in love with it and then see if it could be a long term thing. So if buying art in a gallery could be a love-at-first-sight kind of story, commissioning a painting would be the arranged marriage in this analogy. I understand why you would cringe.
But it really shouldn't be this way, so let me explain how I do it.
Usually you would commission an artist because you already love their work, have been following them for a while and you trust the quality of their work. Also you like the style and you can imagine something of their work in your home.
I first meet with my clients over coffee or the like and ask what they liked of my work already and then what they envision for the commission piece. Once I have an idea, the frist step is to develop a sketch or several. In this case, I developed two sketches and showed them both. They loved both, took the examples home and got back to me. In the end, they went for one of the, but wanted more of the blue tones of the first one, which was no problem.
I usually charge the first half of the agreed price as the first instalment when I've done the sketches and we agreed on the painting. This gives a lot of security to both parties. - I can start working and they know that I am taking it serious as I've gotten paid half and will receive the rest on completion and delivery of the work.
I also agree that if in the end the painting is not right for them, they can use the 50% instalment towards another painting. This hasn't happened to me yet, but of course it could, so it gives some safety for both parties - I haven't been working in the painting for nothing and can hopefully still sell it after and they know they will still get an artwork of the artist they like.
With this commission their idea was, that they wanted a painting of their favourite spots and they gave me a list of the places they really liked, with views from around the area. I checked them out did sketches and patiently waited for a stormy day that would allow me to capture the cloud drama that they liked in my other work. This actually took a while, because after they commissioned me the weather never was quite right and the sky was simply white for weeks! But finally there was a promising day and I went on a hike on Valderøya, as I had already narrowed down the view I thought would work best. And it was such perfect timing! As we got up to the top the clouds broke and the afternoon light came through and illuminated Alnes on Godøya. I had my camera with me and took some pictures which I later used for my sketches.
So if you are thinking now, it could be something for you to try the 'arranged marriage' version of finding art for your home for business and you like my work, it's just to contact me and we can talk about it! I#d love to hear from you and see if I can serve you!