Custom Art. How an Idea Became a Painting.

I've never got used to the buzz I get whenever a person likes my paintings.
And it gives me an even bigger thrill when I get instructions to paint a picture specially for someone, knowing they trust me to do a good job.

I'm quite a practical person, so enjoy the challenge of working to a brief.
"Two People on the Sea Edge,with Birds"
Oil on canvas
© Mary Kemp
This particular commission arrived through summer's open studio event, from a couple who came to visit. In truth I think they had studied the Peterborough Open Studio website carefully and targeted a few artists they liked the look of.

They had a new, plain grey wall to fill.......

They looked at the paintings I had, at work in progress and particularly liked my latest seaside collection.
But nothing was big enough, so this is where the commission part came in.
We looked at images of some sold artwork and they settled on something similar, "not too much pink". We agreed size and price, and a timescale for the project. I asked for a non-returnable deposit of a third and it was all systems go!
 It's so much easier to make changes at this stage
 than when the painting is almost finished

As part of the commissioning process I like to show a preliminary sketch. And this is the one I sent.

The next part of the plan went very smoothly. Over about a month I painted the picture, building it up in layers, standing back, thinking about it, adding more, taking away some but always staying faithful to the vision we had.
Then it was finished. I left it for a few days allowing it to dry, and silently worried.

On the third day I looked at the painting again with new eyes, and decided I quite liked it. I asked my husband. "It's alright" he said. A man of few words.
There was nothing for it but to contact the lovely couple who had commissioned it.
I'm pleased to say they were full of praise, and came round the very next day, whisked it off home and sent me a photo of it looking resplendent on their grey wall.
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