Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Painting Commissions: A great reward for practicing artists.

"Jared", oil on panel, 8"x10"

"The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist.  The artist does not tinker with the universe, he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life." ~Henry Miller

The only thing as sure as that there are artists out there creating art is that there are people who want to commission them. I am talking, dear friends, about paintings commissions. Commissions have sustained artists for millennia. It is an invaluable method to supplement an artist's typically sporadic income. It also is a very symbiotic relationship and has many many benefits.

I do many painting commissions every year, including the portrait of Jared above and his sister Keira below. Some commissions are for strangers and some are for friends. Many are for strangers who subsequently become friends. I value and enjoy this process. I love working on a piece of art that will be in a collection for many years to come. It is wonderful to do a painting that you know will make someone happy. A loved one, a house, a landscape, whatever resonates with the client/friend, is what I will do. Half the fun is collecting the reference (I often travel to the client to shoot the reference myself). This way I am able to engage with the clients and have developed many good friendships as a result of this. After the photo shoot I travel back to my studio and begin work on their painting. If time and the opportunity permits I deliver the piece to them in person. If not, I carefully wrap it and ship it to them. There are few things as moving as unveiling a commission and having the client become emotional at the site of the piece. That is one of the best feelings as a painter...to move someone strongly when they look at your work.

"Keira", oil on panel, 10"x8"

If you are interested in a painting commission please do not hesitate to contact me in the "contact" section of this blog. I will respond to you as soon as I can. Here are a couple of other paintings that I have really enjoyed completing for clients and friends recently...

"Mills", oil on panel, 16"x20"

"Uzes Street", oil on canvas, 40"x60"

"Sneggy", oil on canvas, 16"x20"

Some people have said to me "But when you do commissions you aren't painting what you want to paint!" It is all a matter of perspective. I am painting what will make someone else happy and to also help me continue to be able to paint what I want when I am not working on these commissions! It all works together. I have made some lifelong friends through painting commissions. It is a great benefit of being an artist.

In other news I am starting the process of converting my current, clunky and just generally outdated website to a Wordpress site. I used Flash to make my site years ago and it is time for a change. I want folks to be able to access my paintings on a mobile device, hence the switch. Look for these changes in the coming weeks. My website name will remain the same: heatherhorton.com

Here is a new painting in progress that will be featured in my upcoming exhibition at Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario. This piece is 36"x48", oil on wood panel. It is about 90% complete. Two paintings have already sold for this exhibition so make sure to keep an eye out for new pieces as they are produced! You can purchase paintings in advance through the gallery. They are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Finally, I had the great pleasure of seeing Radiohead recently in Kansas City. Such a fun show! Here are some shots from a spectacular evening...

Behold the coveted wristband indicating general admission access to the concert floor:)

They played a great selection of songs from a variety of different albums.
Most songs were from The King Of Limbs but others were taken from Kid A and

A month today I will be in Kentucky to lecture at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. What an exciting opportunity! I will be participating in critiques, having a small exhibition of paintings and giving a lecture to the Fine Art Department! Any chance to talk to other artists and engage them in the process of creating art is a great thing :) I am very thankful to the university for extending this invitation to me.

Thanks for taking the time to read about these updates and happenings. I hope this entry finds you well and creating new work, words or ways in your life!


"Painting is a strange business."~J. M. W. Turner


Lana Kamaric said...

I'm envious, Radiohead is one of my favourite bands! Also the new painting is looking great! I love your interesting use of angles and lighting.


Lana Kamaric said...

I'm envious, Radiohead is one of my favourite bands! Also the new painting is looking great! I love your interesting use of angles and lighting.