Commissioned Artwork

A commissioned artwork is a unique creative challenge and working together with the clients is especially rewarding – the opportunity to “co-create” something that will last far into the future and be enjoyed by generations.

acrylic on canvas 3 x 48”x48” (total triptych 48”x144”)

I’ve been commissioned to create artwork for bank lobbies, board rooms, and offices but my favourite projects end up in homes – I’ve done custom installations from home theatre to grand staircase but my favourite is over the hearth or dining room table where my work is part of family dinners, special occasions and everyday life.

To be invited into a home as a “permanent guest” is an honour I take very seriously and appreciate very much!

The process is quite a lot of fun for us both. First, we get together to throw around ideas of where the piece will “live”, the dimensions and, of course, subject matter and treatment. Artwork really does bring a mood and energy to a room so this is a wonderful opportunity to create an atmosphere that will be enjoyed for many years.

Next, after any necessary historical research, I’ll come up with some pencil sketches based on our discussions. We review these and make alterations as we get closer to the final image. Once we’re all happy with the drawings for the project, I’ll begin the painting process.

During the creation of the actual painting, I welcome you to come over so see the progress. It’s an interesting process and, even from my perspective I never lose my fascination for it. There are usually further ideas that come from seeing the actual artwork and I enjoy working together as much as you’d like.

There always comes a point at which the piece is finished but I like to put it away in a corner for a while and look at it occasionally, just to make sure there’s no little detail I want to “finesse”. Inevitably there’s a small adjustment here or there that then makes it perfect. This is usually after the client has already said they’re happy, but I do appreciate it when I have a few more weeks for these adjustments.

Then we arrange the framing together and I can help with the installation. All that’s needed now is the unveiling party! Please feel free to contact me any time so we can throw some ideas around.

An Example of a Commissioned Painting

Preliminary Sketch
Preliminary sketch

On-site at a residence under construction, I sketched this doodle to show the builder and the owner my idea for a trompe l’oeil panorama for one wall of the new theatre. The idea was to give the impression of the theatre being an open-air colonnade above the city. The perspective was from a vanishing point across the room from the entrance door so when people first enter, the “city” lines up exactly with the furniture and rest of the room, tricking us into thinking it’s real. The owner liked the idea and asked for a more accurate drawing.

Detailed pencil sketch for a commissioned piece.
Second, more detailed sketch

In the first drawing, the owner asked for just the two left panels, but after seeing this second sketch we decided all panels were the best option.

Final sketch

Here is the final drawing including dimensions and including the far right panel.

Completed paintings

For comparison here’s the finished work. I’m glad we went for the right panel – let me put the Orpheum and its original rooftop neon sign in there.

Work in progress

The project in progress at the studio. Big installations require some big studio space.

Installation of the finished artwork.

The finished panorama being installed onsite by art installer Sean Goheen, who also built the custom canvases. The trompe l’oeil effect can be seen quite nicely here – under the construction lights it actually looks like Sean is working on a model diorama of Vancouver.