This is a story about a special order painting that I recently completed. I wanted to write about the process so that clients would see how a special order is executed.
An anonymous famous writer, Sheri, bought a painting from me at the French Market. She was vacationing in New Orleans while researching a writing project. Oooh, maybe her new story will include a charming, famous painter? She bought a painting of a vintage two story house in mid city; very darling. She took my card and then looked at more on my work on Face book and this blog. Then she had a brilliant flash of inspiration. She had taken a photograph of a scene behind the French Market of a fountain, a bronze statue of a girl, and a mural representing the market area in the 1800’s. It was a really nice shot. And she thought she wanted a painting of the scene.
In contacting me, (which of course I was very flattered), she decided that she wanted a special order painting of this photo and then maybe a couple more A.E. Barnes paintings to begin a collection. She wanted to be in the same boat as Rod Stewart; because actually he is still pretty darn cute. Ok, so I love to do special orders because they are challenging. The client has to work with me quite a bit to arrive at perfect communication about the art work. And so we began…
I studied the photo she sent and she told me about colors she loves and things about the photo that really moved her. I then painted a small painting on paper of my general idea for the work and color palette that I wanted to use. I send a photo of the small painting. Sheri was able to make some adjustments at this point. Yes, she likes overall idea and colors; but need more detail in the mural scene behind the girl. An awesome beginning.
I communicate some more ideas through email and then began to execute the larger painting on canvas. I photographed it during work in progress and sent on the interim images. Sheri was thrilled with the work and the ideas and had just a small tweak or two. Then I finished the work and sent one more photo for approval. After approval a clear polyurethane coating is brushed on the canvas and then is set to dry. And then of course the dénouement of the story is the double bubble wrap, two cardboard boxes and miles of tape packaging before driving to my nearby UPS store. (Yes, I could hire an assistant to do the grunt work, but I am too particular to let others work in my space with my stuff. We don’t say compulsive obsessive or anal retentive. We say eccentric and fabulously interesting. OK?)
And P.S. she gets to pay with a credit or debit card over the phone or mail a check. Easy, Peasy. USP comes to her door and she then gets to disentangle the fabulous new painting from all the packaging. And the next piece of artwork for her will begin to rest gently in her subconscious, until a new flash of inspiration occurs. Thanks Sheri!
For customers interested in special orders, this story relays the process. I use as many photos as you want to send me, color samples of your room, fabric swatches, and whatever is needed to arrive at perfection. I do small thumbnail paintings (which I also sign and mail to the client). Then the larger work on canvas and photos back and forth all the way to the end. And it is fun and creative for me and the client. Try it one day. Take care,, Elie