“When approaching a commission it is important for me to understand what is special about the subject matter to the client. Why is it significant? What is the story behind the significance?”
In the past I have been commissioned to undertake a number of pieces based on either of these responses. For some of these commissions it has been a desire to own a townscape with special attention given to the areas, buildings etc that hold significance to the client. In other cases it has been something about my use of colour and art style that has appealed to a client, wanting their own farm property for instance captured in such a way.
Whatever the impetus for commissioning a piece, the process that I involve the client in is similar. When approaching a commission it is important for me to understand what is special about the subject matter to the client. Why is it significant? What is the story behind the significance? It also, of course, involves my own interpretation of the landscape or townscape, so that I can develop my own understanding and connection to place. This means spending a bit of time there. For ‘Horizon Farm’ it involved climbing up the ladders of some very tall grain silos…not a big fan of heights, but the view was amazing! ‘Dusty Homestead’ was a commissioned piece for a client who had grown up in the old farm cottage. The house that remains is rundown and abandoned. The painting still depicts it as it is today, but certain elements were accentuated in the painting, such as the tractor on the driveway, that were an important memory for the client.
‘Gate to Te Koo Utu’ is a townscape commissioned by the client to take in very special and significant places in their hometown of Cambridge New Zealand. A really interesting project where the painting has been reproduced at a larger scale to adorn the client’s garden gates!
I love being involved in commissioned pieces, as not only are they to become art pieces in a client’s home, but often hold great significance to the memories, interests and characteristics of the client as a person. I am delighted and honoured when I am chosen to be a part of this journey.