Every year during the holidays I get a surge of requests for commissioned paintings by customers who are very thoughtful gift givers. Arguably, a custom oil painting is one of the most unique, personal, and thoughtful gifts one can receive. My favorite part about working with people on commissions is hearing the stories behind each painting concept. This year I didn’t get as many commissions as in previous years, because after the earthquake on November 30th people had other things on their minds like cleaning up trashed homes, broken glass, and fixing cracks. Earth picked a bad time to shake us all up, and I think many retailers and artists felt the economic impact of decreased sales during that time. Nevertheless, I completed seven paintings in time for Christmas, and they were all gratefully accepted by their recipients. Now that they are no longer surprises, I can show them to you. Click on each one to see it in more detail. All paintings are framed in a natural wood frame, with hanging hardware installed. The turnaround time is 2-3 weeks. You can order a custom oil painting at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter, or by contacting me at info [at] realartisbetter [dot] com.
We prefer to spend money on experiences, rather than on stuff: travel, concerts, ski lift tickets, etc. I never thought that commissioning a painting could be an interesting and fulfilling experience, until I watched clients meet with Scott throughout the month to commission paintings as gifts for very special people in their lives. Not only are you paying for an experience, you also get a custom oil painting in the end! One person said her dad is really hard to find gifts for, but a painting of his wedding day was going to be a surprise, and a meaningful gift that he’ll treasure for a long time, and something that will be in the family for generations. She photographed pictures at her dad’s house, and contacted family members to ask for certain photos. Then she met with Scott at our studio, and told him the stories about her parents, and together they created a sketch for the painting. When she saw the painting, her reaction was priceless! Seeing all the details in one painting that was created just for her dad, stirred up some emotions. Another person said she has never been able to surprise her husband with a gift, because he’s just really good at guessing what she bought him. But, she said, this year he’ll never guess that she commissioned a painting of the view from their cabin. Scott delivered the painting to the couple’s home last weekend, and his reaction was priceless. He couldn’t believe the painting was of a view he knew so well.
One has to plan ahead for such a gift. Photos must be gathered, and a lot of thought has to go into creating a quality piece. So it’s too late to commission a piece for Christmas this year, however, you can GIVE someone the experience of commissioning a painting for themselves of their pet, cabin, car, bike, skis, favorite place, etc. The person will visit our studio and talk to Scott about the concept, and in many cases, Scott can create a sketch on the spot. Then Scott will send a photo of the complete painting, and once it’s dry, the painting can be picked up at the studio. People who don’t live locally can also commission a painting by communicating and sending photos via e-mail. Scott sends them a couple sketches with different options, and then we mail the completed piece. Every painting is framed in a natural wood frame, and the hanging hardware is installed. The way to give someone this experience is to purchase a gift certificate online at our Etsy shop. Not bad for a last-minute gift idea!