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Houses & Commissions

Taking on a commission can be a daunting undertaking. Like many challenges, practice takes the scary edge off. There is obviously an expectation from the client and a test for the artist to meet that vision.

My most enjoyable commissions are when the client gives me some free reign. I normally explain that it is impossible for me to reproduce something they may have seen in an exhibition, but the style and the subject matter can be similar.

The hardest commissions have been working from photos of a place I haven't experienced. For me, my own photo of a favourite spot serves as a trigger taking me past the edges of that picture, even conjuring up sounds and smells. Using someone else's photos reduces the experience back to 2-D instantly, halting abruptly on the edges.

Painting pictures of friends' houses is one of my pleasures. I've parked up with stool, easel and paints in fields locally and abroad, on the edge of a busy road in England and in a forest in the mountains of Washington State in the USA.