Paintings and Prints by Mary A. Gravelle (click on an image for more info)

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Art Quote of the Day

Monday, November 24, 2014

Commissioned Painting Update

Changed the blue sky to a colored sky, commissioned painting.
Dillon and Dexter Chilling at Bell Rock, 18 x 36 inches,
Acrylic on canvas. Copyright 2014 Mary Rush Gravelle.
Ummm.... well.... I delivered the painting. The sky was blue and that was a problem. Come to find out the buyer does not care for blue skies. When she takes photos, she puts a filter on her camera to keep the sky from being blue. My bad for not being or getting super clear on her expectations.

In reality, I very rarely paint blue skies in my paintings. The painting she purchased from me prior to the commission had a mauve and beige sky. She expected more of the same. She explained that she has no blue in her house, therefore, it doesn't really go with her decor. "Okay, no problem," I told her, "I'll put a color glaze over it... I want you to be ecstatically happy over this painting!"

So, back to the drawing board (painting easel) today. I tried the color glaze. It just didn't cut it. So, I took bold action and painted the sky the same colors as the rest of the painting, Sedona red-orange. I have to admit that I like it! It feels much more like my style. I was apprehensive in painting this work. I guess I was more nervous than I realized, trying to paint what I thought she would like. I wanted Bell Rock to look like Bell Rock. I wanted her cats to look like her cats. I guess I went a little too far in that direction.

I will let the painting sit overnight and see what it looks like in the morning. Perhaps I'll add some yellow and fuchsia to the sky. We'll see.
Original Painting. Dillon and Dexter Chilling at Bell Rock, 18 x 36 inches,
Acrylic on canvas. Copyright 2014 Mary Rush Gravelle.
So, what do you think? Do you like the colored sky? Did you like the blue sky? Have you had similar experiences with commissioned paintings?

Until Next Week

• Create art
• Appreciate art
• Buy art

Mary Rush
(Mary Gravelle)

About the Author

Mary Rush is an artist who resides in Sedona, Arizona with her beloved cat, Sir Kitty. More about her art and paintings can be found on her website.

Copyright 2014 Mary Rush (Gravelle). All rights reserved.

Sir Kitty

Monday, November 17, 2014

Making Art on Commission Dream or Nightmare

Pallet of colors working on commissioned painting.
18 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas.
Copyright 2014 Mary Rush (Mary Gravelle)
The artist's dream: getting paid upfront to paint! Or is it?

Back in the day a long time ago, it was the elite, political, and religious who hired artists to create pieces that would portray certain images of power and wealth. Think about Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Artists could rely on making a living from creating their art.

Fast forward to late 1700's to mid-1800's when the American and French revolutions and democracy changed the way of life. This also sent the artist headlong into a new direction.

With their conviction to paint and make art that made them happy, or at least expressed what they deemed needed to be expressed, along with the fall of empires and wealth, the artist was now faced with the jubilance of newfound freedom and a need for self-reliance. For a quick and interesting look at art history, read this article.

I have little experience painting for commission. Currently, I find myself doing just that. I am so very grateful to be able to paint, knowing that payment is imminent, already receiving half upfront.

The Painting Setup.
I have discovered a few interesting things about painting on commission.

First, I want the client to be very happy and pleased with the final painting. Because of this, I involved the client in the composition of the painting. This took quite a number of back and forth discussions and conversations. My original vision for the painting changed dramatically. And yet, I am happy with it because I think the buyer will be more content with the final painting having been a part of its creation.

Second, because I want the buyer to be thrilled and ecstatic with the piece, I was sending updates of my progress up until two days ago. The idea for this was to keep the buyer involved in the process. What I discovered, however, was that it was inhibiting my creative process for allowing the painting to have its own voice and expression. Since I do not paint totally realistically, it is important for me to allow the creative muse to visit me during my painting process. And, the buyer kept telling me she wanted to let me do that. But, something inside insisted I keep her informed.


Nov. 13, 2014.
In Process Commissioned Acrylic Painting by Artist Mary Rush
(Mary Gravelle), 18 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas.
Copyright 2014 Mary Gravelle
Now that I have let go of the idea of keeping the buyer apprised of every move I make with this painting, I feel so much happier and relieved while painting. The creative muse came out to play. The painting is breathing its own life now. I can't wait to see where this painting ends up. I am so excited about delivering the final piece to the client. I want her to be surprised by the painting instead of knowing every little detail about it and quite possibly suffocating any excitement of anticipation from the experience that she might be feeling.

What's your opinion of art making for commission? Artists, do you like this way of working? Art buyers and art collectors, do you commission artists to do work for you?

Here are some articles I ran across about the process of commissioned art that might be of interest:

Making Art on Commission: Tips for Artists

Commissioned Art: Tips to Make it a Success

For other articles, google "artists working on commission".

More about my art and paintings can be found on my website.

Until Next Week

• Create art
• Appreciate art
• Buy art

Mary Rush
(Mary Gravelle)

About the Author

Mary Rush is an artist who resides in Sedona, Arizona with her beloved cat, Sir Kitty. More about her art and paintings can be found on her website.

Copyright 2014 Mary Rush (Gravelle). All rights reserved.

Sir Kitty



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Painting Merges My Love of The Landscape and Animals

The set up.
Commissioned Painting, 18 x 36 inches.
Acrylic on canvas. Copyright Mary Rush (Mary Gravelle)

Painting Studio Set Up

Nov. 11, 2014. I have been preparing for a new painting, a commissioned work. I set up my painting space today.

Under Painting

Commissioned Painting under painting in process, 18 x 36 inches.
Acrylic on canvas. Copyright Mary Rush (Mary Gravelle)
I did the under painting of the sky. After spending quite a bit of time in the initial pre-planning stages, it felt great to finally put paint on canvas!

Landscape Meets Animals

Also, I have to say that as I was painting today, I loved the idea of painting the landscape again. With this painting, my love of nature and the landscape merges with my love of animals.

The Landscape

The landscape is in Sedona, Arizona. The mountain is known as Bell Rock, one of the major vortex sites in Sedona.

The Animals

The animals are the buyer's cats, Dillon and Dexter. They are both Maine Coon cats and quite large.

My Sir Kitty is attempting to become their friends, so far unsuccessfully. I encourage him to keep trying. So far, Dexter just hisses at him. We'll see what happens over time.

So far, this painting is a delight.

Until Next Week

• Create art
• Appreciate art
• Buy art

Sir Kitty

About the author:

Mary Rush Gravelle is an artist who resides in Sedona, Arizona with her beloved cat, Sir Kitty.