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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Make an artist happy, commission a work of art!

So you say you want some art, great! Collecting and displaying fine art is wonderful, fabulous. These days, with original Picassos selling in the low billions, and Warhols even cheaper than that, fine art is within the reach of just about... what's that? Oh, you don't have the budget of a major industrial nation to spend on a painting? Guess what? No problem! Because it just so happens that there are plenty of living breathing artists in the world today who would love to help you start your art collection. Plus, you have the advantage of being able to actually meet and speak to these people. You can get to know them directly, learn about their art and what compels them to create it. (Take that, Pablo!)

One very solid advantage of purchasing art from a contemporary "up-and-coming"
artist is that most will be happy to accept commissions. If you see an artist's gallery and appreciate their work, don't hesitate to contact that artist with your particular needs. For example, you could commission a portrait, request an original painting of the exact dimensions you want to fill a certian area on your wall, or ask if he or she could create a work of art in a color scheme to fit the decor and theme of a room in your home. Abstract art is especially well suited for these last two ideas.

I've done some commissioned artwork myself, and I always find it uniquely challenging and rewarding. Sometimes a prospective patron will want a piece based on a previous work I've done, but with some sort of subtle personal changes. (See the previous post about the "Masked Fish" commission.) There have also been requests where someone has only a vague idea of what they want, maybe a specific size or color scheme, and I have to translate that into a tangible work of art. (I said it was challenging!) One painting for a friend was based on this poem by Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.