MY GOLDEN RULE FOR COMMISSIONED PAINTINGS

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

How to Get Started: During our first chat, I will often hear that this is way outside your comfort level. This usually means that you only have a vague idea of what you want and are worried about having to pay for a painting you might not like. I know 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 your space, using specific colors that complement or contrast with existing elements, and which will evoke an overall aesthetic.

 

I’ve worked with so many collectors from all over the world on commissions that it’s easy for me to see into a future moment when the finished painting has finally arrived, placed on your wall and transforms the room into an elegant, charming and unique space! I want you 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 promise that I will treat you 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 your home or office 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 will also chat about ideas or vision for the room. Is the goal to create a sense of calm and quiet retreat or to invoke an element of excitement and energy? I also find out which of my existing paintings you liked. A favorite photo might be considered in the composition.

After an initial meeting by phone, I may 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. Sometimes I use digital images to give you an idea of size and composition. Each commission is unique and so is the process.

If you live far away from me here on the California coast, everything can be done by email and phone. I might ask you 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 actual wall.

 

When the painting is finished, I send lots of digital photos and closeups to be sure we got it right. At this point I can still make small changes to the painting. I like to paste the image of the painting into a photo of your space, too. Once you are satisfied and have notified me by email, we make arrangements for shipment.

 

Shipping: Your painting will be created on unstretched canvas. After your final approval of images and my receipt of final 50%, the painting is carefully wrapped and rolled in acid-free glassine tissue paper and shipped in a heavy duty shipping tube to your U.S. address via FedEx Two Day Air. (If you are located in another country, I'll provide an estimate for shipping.) I've found that shipping is quite costly for prestretched paintings. Therefore, I always recommend shipment by tube, and then just taking it to a reliable professional framing shop for stretching and framing. 

 

Money: After we figure out the right size and composition for your space, I provide you an initial quote. 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 by either of us, the deposit is immediately refunded. If you change your mind or your circumstances change, just give me a call and I'll return your deposit.

How long will it take? Depending on the painting size, design process, and my backlog, a commissioned painting can take anywhere from six weeks up to a year or more. I won’t release a painting until I’m happy with it. I have had as much as a year's backlog, so I always suggest getting on my list as soon as possible. Your 50% deposit will secure 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! 

 

Feel free to call me any time if you have questions or want to chat about a possible commission.

 

My phone number is USA (650) 451-2484.  If I don't answer the phone, I'm probably painting.

Please leave a message and I promise to call you back!

 

My email is: sheila@sheilafinchfineart.com.