Commissions often require boundaries that can stifle creativity. . . boundaries like 'matching the couch' or looking 'exactly' like the photograph. Commissions can also put limits in my head, like 'they won't like that color' or 'this is too intense for their taste.'

Commissions can make it tough for me to actually want to paint, especially when it's of a subject that I'm not really interested in. Plus, my focus can easily shift from creating to selling the creation. That shift kills all creativity in me.

When I used to seek commissions, I always thought they were like having a baby. The idea for the commissioned painting had to grow inside me until I really WANTED to paint it. Otherwise, I was just going through the motions of moving the paint with a brush, and that lack of involvement would always show in the finished painting.

This painting had to match a bedspread. Other than that, I was given free reign as long as it was floral. It was fun to paint, but the whole time a little voice in the back of my head kept reminding me that SHE had to like it. Terrifying!

She did like it. Whew. It's so freeing to paint what I want to paint, a luxury for sure. Commissions still tempt me at times, but the only ones I'll do are the ones I'd have to paint anyway.

"DORIE'S DELS" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 21 x 30" COLLECTED


Christiane Kingsley said...

Your client must have been thrilled when she saw this painting. There is so much to look at. The texture seems wonderful also.
I understand your feelings concerning commissions. In an earlier life, I was a professional weaver doing one-of-a kind hand dyed silk scarf. A big gallery ordered 100 identical scarves...I simply could not do it: mind refused to do it, my body refused to do it. All the fun was gone...I finally turned down the commission.Without the freedom of creativity, weaving ceased to be a passion.

meera said...

I have really enjoyed reading about your early experiences. Thanks foe sharing them! Love your paintings :)

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Simply adore this pair of delphinium commissions, which brought back memories of living in the Fens and passing a field of delphiniums I painted a good few years back. Love them. I know what you mean about commissions, mine of late have been too many local land and river scapes and I want to get back to my beloved flowers. Yours are inspirational.

Jeanette said...

This is beautiful. I love the pastel colours and soft feel to it.

bbpryor said...

After looking at the commission, then next . . . to "Landscaping I thought WOW! Thats Sandy!!
The "Landscaping" colors and values really show who you are and what you enjoy with your great soul!

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks for your kind comments. Seems like a hundred years since I painted it, and I'm glad you like it.