Monday, August 15, 2011

Commissions vs. Inspired Ideas, A Comparison

My Balloon, 18 x 14

Well, I just read a post at, (the Huff Harrington Gallery blog) about commissions, and since I had been recently working on the one above, I was contemplating a few comments myself on that subject.  

My Balloon is a good representation of the subject in a photo taken by a friend, who wanted this painting of her grandchild.  I like the striped robe, but generally feel that this painting is tighter and has less soul than I aim to capture.  The buyer might as well be sitting on my shoulder, as my response to the subject is more timid, less interpretive.  Wish it weren't the case, but that seems to be my mode, confirming for sure that portraiture or anything even close would not be a path to personal happiness!  My hat goes off to those painters who welcome the commission challenge and make it work for them.

In contrast to the balloon girl, below is one created from my photos, done simply because I liked the light effect and pose.  The piece evokes a certain je ne sais quoi -- that elusive quality that makes for a better painting (and thus a happier me).

Solo, 16 x 12


  1. Really interesting post. I just love both paintings! I did notice that the commissioned one is a timid watching where you step toddler and the fun je ne sais quoi one is a confident older child trucking along on her bike...ready for an adventure. I think you really want to please the person and that is what makes the commissions so tough- and life is short- we all need to be happy!

  2. Nancy, both paintings are wonderful, but I understand how you feel about doing a commission, especially when it is someone else's photo.... and aren't we always harder on ourselves? Especially when it is a commission and we are working from another's photo. That being said, the painting is delightful, I love the red striped robe too. Nobody does children like you!!

  3. Both paintings are beautiful. I especially love the toddler on the beach. Commissions can be a pleasant or unpleasant experience. Your's seem to be always positive.

  4. Such sweet paintings, you do paint children so wonderfully and everything else too. LOVE your work, I think you've heard that from me before, lol.

  5. I completely agree with your assessment of both of these paintings. The little girl on the bike sings and although the other works quite well, I see the critic sitting on your shoulder.
    The little girl is a delightful painting!!

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