There are few things that give me satisfaction like delivering a commissioned piece to a client or friend that requested the work. I have not updated this page so often as I should, unfortunately. I have been very fortunate to have done several commissioned works in the past year. Some are included here.
Another commissioned work, and this one I enjoyed so much. When people approach me about commissions, I am often really surprised in a happy way with the ideas people come up with. A friend, who is a practicing Zen Buddhist, wanted me to do an image in the style of Buddhist religious iconography, but using the Nintendo character, Kirby, as the central character in the image.
The final image:
Kirby, as Buddhist Iconography, Casein Paint, Acrylic paint and graphite on a gessoed wood board. In private collection.
To prep for the final image, I did the following studies:
Study, “the Buddha” Casein Paint on Gessoed paper.
Kirby, study, acrylic paint on Gessoed paper.
8-bit Kirby, study, acrylic paint on gessoed paper.
This work was a lot of fun to do. Aside that it was being purchased by a very good friend, it was a deeply personal work in many ways. Also, the client’s requests about the work meant I used painting techniques very different from how I usually paint. I definitely learned a thing or do, doing this particular work.
Commissioned work, I am going to have to check with the buyer, because I forgot the title I scribbled on the back. Oil on Canvas, 18″ x 24″ in private collection
The next piece was also a joy to do. Sometimes, when I am approached about an idea the buyer has a very specific idea of what they want, –down to materials and the actual image. I do enjoy, though, when the direction for a commission is a little more amalgamous I have have the go-ahead to play and experiment with my typical style. This was one of those works. I had little direction other than to do something in my style, but include crows in the image.
“Mother of Crows” acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″ NFS
On the SWPA page, I put out there I was doing commissions. A friend asked that I do one of the small works of Albany’s long-time alternative music hang-out, the Fuze Box.
The Fuze Box was a rescued Art Deco building and one-time White Tower Hamburgers location. White Tower was a Wisconsin-based competitor of White Castle, the first store opened and the company peaked in the 1950’s. Most of the original details in the building are still present: the molded glass and chrome, as well as signs advertising the buildings history before it was reused as a night-club. Long-time Albany scenesters still remember the days when the club was the QE2, and hosted live all-ages shows, as well as alternative dance nights.
So, a venerable historic structure in its own right, the Fuze Box/QE2 has been an anchor of Albany’s nightlife as long as pretty much anyone cares to recall. My friend, James, wanted an image to commemorate the Fuze Box and commissioned the work. I started doing preliminary sketches this morning.
A bit about my process: any commissioned work, or a serious work I do generally involves a few sketches. The sketching allows me to work out problems and practice the image before I start the actual work. I encourage my students to practice their ideas with sketches on paper before they truly start a piece. In this case, this is a mixed media color study and architectural study of the White Tower building (as it was in 2006, this image is from my own collection, taken with one of my many digital cameras I have owned over the years).
The original image I am working from is below:
I’ll include images, with the permission of the buyer, of the full work when it is done. If you’re interested in commissioning a work, use the contact information in the about page.
Working on an architectural drawing of a highly symmetrical Art Deco building is proving to be a challenge (not an unwelcome challenge, by any means, but still a challenge). Hopefully, I am not trying the patience of my buyer by taking my time and doing a score of preliminary sketches to get the end product right.
Last weekend, I went out with my point and shoot and took a couple night-time images to make a composite image for the final product. Today, I am working off pencil sketches of the various angles.
here’s today’s sketch (pencil on paper):
I have permission from the buyer to include the work, which he just picked up today, on my blogs here. I did two versions of the Fuze Box image, and James, in turn, wanted both images.
So here they are drying on my easel (the source images I used are above):
Thanks James, and I hope you enjoy the images!
Good friend and fellow odd human Seamus approached me about doing a painting for his girlfriend, Sid, who is likewise a super-cool human. What Seamus (being a Star Wars fan with a command of apocryphal and character lore I do not, sadly, have) wanted was a re-imagining of The Jabba the Hut scenes in Star Wars, with his cat, Sif, and he and his partner as characters in the piece. So, Jabba the Sif, became a thing. I drew four or five character studies, and then began painting what was one of the most fun images I have ever committed with acrylic paint to a canvas.
I have used the image with Sid’s permission.
Jabba the Sif. Acrylic on canvas. Commission and birthday gift from Seamus to Sid.
Thanks Seamus and Sid, I am glad you enjoy the finished piece.
Regardless of how quirky the idea, I am glad to take commisions of whatever you are looking for, and will do my best to fit materials and time within a budget you can afford. If you’re interested in a commission, use the contact in my about section on this blog.