September 2, 2015

Delivering the Commission -- Thank Goodness!

Tracy delivering Dahlia of My Heart -
a Commission to Cindi D
For Christmas last year, the Mathematics and Computer Science faculty at Franklin and Marshall College (in Lancaster, PA), gave their department coordinator a gift she had specifically requested: a painting by me!  I was touched and excited to be working with her, and foolishly assumed that I'd be able to get it to her in short order.  I just delivered it on Monday -- after clearly miscalculating how long the process would take.  My miscalculation was caused by a number of factors:  Cindi had to decide the topic of the work, and we had to decide on the image of the topic chosen that would make her heart sing.

       That was a more involved process because of me.  I had just seen an article featuring Ann Rea, an influential landscape artist who specializes in commissions and whose website was featured on as one of "9 Great Artist Websites".

I love the collaborative way Ann works with her clients.  She often travels with clients to the place they want painted -- to see exactly what they loved about the place.  She then creates two small works based on that research and has the client choose which of Ann's interpretations best match their own vision.  While I can't afford at this time to travel in the way Ann does, I did do research and did follow Ann's lead  -- producing two small pieces for Cindi to choose between before starting on the final piece.  And, through the process I sent pictures of the work in progress and asked her for her input.
Cindi's Bonus Painting

As I was wrapping up my work on the piece, Cindi was able to visit me at my studio, and I found more about the reason she loved the type of Dahlia I was painting.  It was named for a family member she loved and lost too soon.  She showed me a picture that included this person, and I was so touched that I created a small watercolor of the picture that I delivered at the same time as I delivered Dahlia of my Heart. I didn't know how she'd react, but fortunately she loved both pieces  -- as you can tell by her smile.

  Tomorrow I'll show you the two sample oils I created for Cindi before starting on the final version of her commission. One is completed, but one is still in progress.  Both will be available for sale.


I look forward to your thoughts and comments.