I am asked to make paintings all the time for clients, for friends, for family.
For corporations, for live events, for galleries, for parties.
This is what I do as a "commissioned artist."
Someone gives me a subject matter and asks me to make a painting about it, and so that's what I do. And believe me, I recognize this ability is a most precious gift that I am able to do this task. Yes I have over 10,000 hours under my belt of drawing and painting and creating so that makes me an expert as Malcolm Gladwell would say. An "Outlier" so to speak.
But once in a great while, I am not only commissioned to make a painting for a most special occasion, I am also asked to deliver the painting to create a most memorable event as well. Often times, I have never met the actual clients in person until the unveiling happens. Sometimes I never even get to meet my clients at all - entire exchanges of information and what is desired in the commission happens over the internet or on the telephone in a most un-personalized fashion. But I always do my darndest to get to know the person or the subject matter as best as I can in order to most effectively make this creation, this reflection of the individual or situation.
The past two weeks I have been feverishly working on a large abstract for a person I have never met until this evening. A man named Dino reached out to me over the phone, said he had found my website through a "commissioned artist" web search and had a most fantastic idea to surprise his wife for her birthday. Unfortunately, he didn't know if I could help him out in such a short time frame, he had just now thought of the idea of giving artwork and his wife's birthday was in two weeks time. Every birthday they had spent together was always based on a theme, and he felt the event was getting rather "predictable." And even though in the past he had showered his wife, Sue, with jewelry, trips, clothing, accessories, etc etc. and she was most appreciative of all of her themed gifts, this year he wanted to create an element of surprise and make this birthday most "unpredictable." Dino wanted to secretly hire me to make a painting for Sue (who by the way already had developed over the years quite an impressive and eclectic art collection). Dino gave me all kinds of information about his wife, the art she liked, the music she listened to, her professional bio and things of this nature so that I could get to know his wife, my subject, with the hopes of not only making a large painting to fill a particular wall in their home, but to make a gift that represented all the most wonderful aspects of Sue.
What a most important special opportunity. What a great and challenging task. And all in two weeks time.
Still when making a commissioned painting I always get a little nervous about how the painting will be received. I put everything I know and have - all my wits, facets and things that I know about the world of painting and color theory to work. All that I know about the mathematical academic structural institutions of painting is incorporated into my work in hopes that I land on the right planet with the completed image, the completed painting, the completed creation that I make with my own two hands. (And most times I still am astounded after making thousands of paintings for people that individuals entrust me with creating that most special gift, present, or moment to honor another person) I am still astounded that I am hired to do the only thing I wanted to do as a small child and that is to make art.
This article is now getting a little long winded at this point...but I would like to take a moment to publicly thank Dino for hiring me to make a birthday gift for his most precious friend and wife, Sue. Every time I make a painting, I learn something new about me, about the creative process, and the magic behind allowing divinity to work through my hands to make a most special offering to give to someone that I've never met before. Dino gave me a most special opportunity indeed - to make a painting for his wife, the love of his life. I am most grateful that I was chosen for this project as I know I am part of something greater than myself, something greater than the canvas, the paints and the composition.
If you'd like to watch the process of how Sue's painting came about, I encourage you to watch the time lapse video here (in the link above). I offered to make the video, paired with one of Sue's most favorite songs, as a sort of Hallmark card that Dino was able to present to his wife, minutes prior to the delivery of the actual painting to their doorstep this past Sunday afternoon. When I walked up to the door there were tears of the beauty of unpredictable joy and appreciation in her eyes and I knew right there and then that I had nailed it! And yes after trusting the creative process and the gifts that have been given to me, I had landed on the right planet after all.
to commission a Laurie Maves ART painting for yourself or someone you love, please visitwww.LaurieMavesART.com