my brother and his wife, Kristen, have asked me to paint something for over their fireplace, in their family room in Alabama, and I’m equal parts flattered, excited, and nervous. 😬

after getting the desired measurements, I asked a few starter questions like:
  • do you care if it’s pastel or another medium (acrylic or oil)? pastels require matting and framing which adds to the dimension so the actual painted piece would be smaller than if oil on canvas which would be mostly art with a simple, thin floater frame.
  • do you care if it’s representational or abstract art?
  • do you have color ideas? colors to avoid? just tell me where you’re at with colors.
  • have you seen art that you like? to use as a reference point for ‘energy’ and scale.
our visit was canceled last spring because of covid so I haven’t seen their house or updates so Paul sent me photos of the room (below). it was really helpful see the furniture and other art in the room and they have a designer friend who helped with color advice.
we all agreed that a more muted palette would be best and they like the idea of greens, blues, and yellows. and they mentioned the botanical prints already hanging in the room. once I had all this information I headed to my favorite spot - the paint departments of my nearest home depot and lowes.MY FIRST COMMISSION
I knew these colors would work well in their space but also feel very much like colors I would choose on my own. that’s one of the hardest things about commissions and the reason I don’t offer them in my jewelry or needlepoint designs. your idea of ‘blue’ is likely not my idea of blue and to wrestle with meeting in the middle is just something that I don’t enjoy. which then means I don’t like what I’ve created and then no one’s happy. that breaks my enneagram 9 heart.
MY FIRST COMMISSIONa few of my watercolor and crayon experiments that would be fun to do on a bigger scale.

but! I know Paul and Kristen and they gave me wide berth so I ran these colors by them and got the thumbs up. so now I just need to paint something. I’ve got a few ideas and will probably do an acrylic/oil mixed media piece. and whether I go representational or abstract it will definitely be inspired by our shared home away from home - my parents’ summer place on the south coast of massachusetts. it’s what I usually work on in my painting workshops so I have a pretty good start on inspiration paintings.

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