Each year people commission paintings from me for holiday gifts, and I’ve always completed them on time. As I’ve said before, my favorite part about commissions is the stories behind each painting. I also love being involved in the surprise, and try very hard not to ruin it. So, now that everyone has received the paintings, I can finally show them to you. This year I completed nine oil paintings during the holiday season in time for Christmas, or anniversaries. Each one is super unique, and meaningful to my patrons, and the recipients. Thank you to all who commissioned paintings this year, and in the past!
I’m one of few artists who accepts commissions, and completes them in an agreed-upon timeline. Some of my fellow artists have many valid reasons for not doing commissions, and one of them is fear that the client won’t like the painting. One of the ways I avoid this from happening is by making sure the patron is familiar with my style. I’m not a photographic painter, so if you want an exact likeness of your great-grandfather in oil paint, I’ll refer you to someone else. If you want a colorful, textural painting that captures the vibe of the scene, then I’m glad to work with you. An important step in the commissioning process that I never skip is providing sketches to my clients for approval. I will not start painting until a sketch is approved. Sometimes the first sketch is a go, and other times I go back to the drawing board and make changes until the client gives me the go-ahead. This way everyone is on the same page. Here are three examples of sketches, and the final product. As you can see, a sketch is used to show the patron where each object will be placed, and the proportions.
I’m working on two sketches today for commissioned paintings, so I’m going to get back to that now. Until next time!
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?
Our studio is inside the 4th Avenue Market Place, which is right on 4th Avenue, about a block from the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. So, since 2016 we’ve been transforming the studio from work mode to pop-up gallery mode, and opening it to the public when everyone is on 4th Avenue to watch the race. Each year I paint a new dog-mushing oil painting, and it usually sells on the day of the race. A lot of people who come through the studio that day are tourists who came to Alaska just to see the Iditarod. This year I painted this piece of Martin Buser, and then featured it in an e-news to my subscribers, and it sold before the open studio event!
So Maria took a photo of the painting, and printed prints of it to sell during the Iditarod start at our studio. But she also displayed the original, with a “Sold” sticker on it, and she had the brilliant idea to write on the sticker that I accept commissions, and could paint a custom Iditarod painting similar to this one with “your favorite musher.” Well, several people took her up on that offer, and suddenly, I found myself painting dog teams for the next three weeks! We were supposed to go to Washington, Hawaii, and Australia, but those trips were cancelled due to COVID-19 hysteria, so I ended up having plenty of time to work on these paintings. I just finished them last week. Who’s your favorite musher?
Each year several thoughtful gift-givers commission me to paint custom oil paintings for holiday gifts, and so far I’ve always finished them all on schedule to be delivered several days before December 25th. This year most of the paintings were dog portraits, and sadly two of those were of loved pups that had recently gone to doggy heaven. No one ordered a cat painting. Hmmmm. One person really liked one of my existing float plane paintings, but wanted a smaller version, so I painted one for him. I’m always impressed with the concepts that my patrons develop for these pieces, and my favorite part is finding out the stories behind each one. I hope all the recipients liked their gifts. I did receive a couple photos of smiling people holding their custom Clendaniel originals.
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.
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!