Christmas Commissions

by sandihester

I finally got the courage up to give commission work a try. I picked a limited subject (houses) that I thought I had a relative grasp on and threw it out there to friends and family. I had 5 takers! That was just the right number to try and get done before the holidays. They took me MUCH longer than I thought they would. I painted from 3-5 different paintings of the same house for each commission – it took me that many times to get it right. Each painting took 3-5 days to paint, so if you add that up you can quickly see why it took me longer than I thought it would. During the time I was working on these commissions I did little else – my days were filled with painting – which was great and fun but something I would not want to do all the time. If I wasn’t painting I was thinking about how to resolve something in the painting I was having problems with. Each painting was mated and had a scripture on the mat that went with the painting. For the homes I used Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” and for the cabins and vacation homes I used two different scriptures: Mark 6:31 “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” and Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest.” In the end I was really happy with all of them and my customers seemed to be really happy with them too!

The first commission I got was from my friend Tasha. I painted the house they live in now some time ago and she wanted me to paint their first house for her. She said she’ll be having me paint every house they live in :). She talked to her husband about it and he told her that’s what he was going to do to surprise her for Christmas! After she told me that my mind got to thinking – we could still pull that off as a surprise for her. She e-mailed me a day or so later and told me if I was getting lots of Christmas requests not to worry about getting to her’s until I was done with Christmas gifts – that gave me the time I needed to work with her husband in surprising her. Joe (her husband) and I worked it out and she had no idea! Fun stuff!!

The second commission was Sheila’s family cabin. I did this one 50 million times – ok well maybe not that many but it felt like it :). She ended up choosing 2 of them :)! They were both very different and captured different things about the cabin and land.

Each commission was so different. Jana was my third commission and she wanted me to paint her son’s cabin. It was challenging but fun because it had all kinds of different wood and stone on it – all kinds of textures and colors. My favorite part of this painting are the shingles.

The fourth commission was from a student I had in my last watercolor class. Her in-laws are building their dream home and she wanted me to paint it for them. It’s a beautiful craftsman style home and called for a tighter painting. I feel like as you look at each of these paintings it looks like a different artist painted some of them – but I promise I did all of them myself!

The last painting I did was for a dear friend. She’s one of my all time favorite people to be with – she is hilarious, loves the Lord, and is one of the kindest people I know. Her dad is my allergist doctor. He is the BEST! Seriously, he treats me like one of his own daughters. She and her other siblings went in together and commissioned me to paint their family cabin on the lake. For some reason this was my favorite one. I think because I just let loose. It was taking me several tries for each painting so I just thought the first go around on Mary Julia’s painting I would just have fun – and what do you know it turned out the first try! I love the looseness of the painting. She insisted I put the flags in the painting because she said it was a family thing and they gave a splash of color that goes well with the green roof.

I hope each of the families were joyfully surprised with their paintings at Christmas. Each person that picked their painting up was really excited about giving it to their family for Christmas. It was a great experience and I hope all the families find it to be a gift they will treasure for years to come! Below are some of the pictures I painted from – I didn’t have a digital picture of all of them because some people gave me hard copies. You can click on any of the pictures to see them larger.