Each holiday season I receive many requests for commissions that need to be done and delivered in time for Christmas. One of my favorite parts about working on these custom pieces is hearing people’s stories behind the painting concepts. Usually they send me a photo of a special beer they enjoyed with a best friend, or loved one, along with another photo of a place that is significant to both people, and then I combine the photos into one composition. Each detail has a meaning, and I am always glad to be part of creating a one-of-a-kind piece for a person who is caring enough to order a custom painting for a friend, spouse, or significant other. So, each year I publish a blog post to show you all the commissioned paintings I completed during the holiday season. Signed prints are available of Bourbon Paradise, and A Deal with the Devil paintings at my Etsy shop.
Can you think of anything unique, and significant to you that you’d like me to paint?
~ by Maria Benner
One of the most unique, personal and unexpected gifts is a commissioned oil painting. So we get to learn a lot of personal information about complete strangers, such as their hobbies, their past travels, their pets, family, etc. Most commissions are ordered online from far away places, so we rarely get to meet the customer, or the person/people that the paintings are for, but we end up knowing a lot about them. People send us photos of their babies, dogs, and other things that they love. Sometimes we end up exchanging over 20 e-mails back and forth, talking about their lives, and how to incorporate the most important things tastefully into one painting. The best part is being in on the secret. One customer was working out the details for a painting for her father who owns a store in Anchorage. Scott had to coordinate with her a time when her dad wouldn’t be there so he could stop by and take photos of the store front. She had to be sneaky, because she couldn’t just ask her dad when he would be gone from the store, without raising suspicions. And when someone orders a custom beer painting, the customers have to scheme to find out what the gift recipients’ favorite beer is, and we give them suggestions for what questions to ask. We love being in on these secrets, and learning about people’s lives, because that is such a personal part of our business. Making that connection with customers makes the paintings that much more special.