Friday, November 20, 2009

The psychiatrist is in

Its interesting how non-artistic people view the world and need to be coaxed into seeing what we see.

I'm doing some commissions and find that individuals rarely have a vision of the final piece in terms of size and what they feel is value for money.  I try to steer them in the right direction, knowing almost intuitively how a piece will translate onto different size canvases or paper.  Most people are happy to be steered and understand a little more of the process of composition, reduction and enlargement.

Commission work often consists of part psychology, part intuition, part patience, part education and a dash of luck, combined with holding your breath until the piece is accepted.  So why do it?  Because its wonderful to see different people or animals and watch them come to life.   99% of people are amazing to deal with.  The 1% that are difficult I look at as helping me learn.  I learn to anticipate the person's vision of the final piece and have never had a piece returned or major changes to do. 

This sweet dog is a start of a piece in watercolour.  Black dogs are always a challenge, but the smaller size makes it easier as there is not so much detail work.  If it were a traditional head and shoulders portrait, my work would be cut out for me.


sue said...

I don't know how you do it--I imagine it must be stressful dealing with that. This dog already has personality--wonderful, Jeanette!

Gary said...

I think that one of the reasons that you are able to do commission work (aside from the obvious - your technical and artistic abilities) is the attitude that you convey in the above discussion - that you choose to learn from the one percent of people who are hard. What a refreshing point of view (now if people could be that way concerning politics...) This is already a lovely painting and I look forward to seeing it develop.