Commissioning a painting is exciting, but also a bit unnerving… not for me, but often for my new collectors. After all, they don’t really know me yet.

During our first chat, I often hear that this is way outside their comfort level. This usually means they only have a vague idea of what they want and are worried about having to pay for a painting they might not like… (That’s what I would be worried about if I were commissioning a painting.)

Our goal, together, is to figure out some basic details so that I can create a painting that is the perfect size for a space, using particular colors that complement existing elements, which will evoke an overall aesthetic. I’ve worked with so many collectors on commissions that it’s easy for me to see into a future moment when we are placing the final painting on their wall, transforming a room into an elegant, charming and unique space! I want them to love my painting for a lifetime, and be proud to pass it on to the next generation.

I grew up in the Midwest and I remember my mom telling us kids to always follow the Golden Rule. I think that’s why I’ve never had an unhappy collector; I treat them the way I would want to be treated.

Here’s my Golden Rule for Commissions:

The client is under no obligation to accept and pay for a painting they don’t love.

Either of us can cancel the commission at any time, for any reason,

even if the painting is finished.

Process: If my client’s space is nearby, I stop by to see what’s already placed in the way of furnishings, the natural light of the room, and design elements. We also chat about ideas or vision for the room. Is the goal to create a sense of calm and quiet retreat or an element of excitement and energy? I also find out which of my existing paintings they liked. A favorite photo might be considered in the composition.

After the initial meeting, I might draw up a few thumbnail sketches with color notes. The sketches and colors are guidelines only, as a painting can take a different direction, and I don’t want to stifle the muse.

If a client lives far away, everything can be done by email and phone. I might ask them to mail me some paint chips that match existing colors along with photos of the space. To get a feel for proportion and balance, I suggest using painter’s blue tape to tape out possible sizes on the wall.

Money: I provide an initial quote based on the painting size, plus sales tax and/or shipping. Once I receive a 50% deposit, your spot is secured on my waiting list and the price is locked in. Upon completion and acceptance of the painting, the final 50% is due. If the commission is cancelled, the deposit is immediately refunded.

How long will it take? Depending on the painting size and my backlog, a commissioned painting can take anywhere from six weeks up to a year or more, as I won’t release a painting until I’m happy with it. I currently have a six month backlog, so I always suggest getting on my list as soon as possible. The 50% deposit secures a spot on my waiting list and locks in pricing.

If you’ve always wanted one of my paintings and know just the perfect spot in your home or office, now is a great time to get started!