Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Grateful Notices: Autumn Verticals commissioned oil on canvas

Commissioned work:
Autumn Verticals
Oil on canvas, 32 x 40 inches
Private collection, Seattle, WA

I always enjoy commission work. I am usually working with a new client that obviously likes what I do, so my job is to do my best work and thrill myself. If I am happy the client will likely feel the same way.

A commission is the opportunity to go further in any variety of ways, using a number of strategies to create a great, new work. More or less complex? More monochromatic or open the color up? Find ways to increase the drama? The studio is full of possibilities.

The client and I are excited about the possible outcome, that finished work on the wall. The entire process is a delicious one for me. A bit of risk on the high wire and the freedom to make something wonderful.

I did a larger version a year ago. This client wanted something close to that look but allowed me to try new things. So this time it's a bit of the aspens or birches without as many of the lighter tree trunk colors. The foreground trees are separated from the background in this version as well. It is less realistic, but this increased the contrast and depth. This separation freed the colors as well, allowing the vertical trunks to be rendered in a variety of deeper blues, purples, aquas and greens. The colors are almost like the paints sitting on the studio palette - a delight to see.

It was a bit sad to have it leave the studio where it had been entertaining me for weeks.

Thank you for placing it your lovely home!


  1. Yes - a knockout! Generates a moody daylight!!

    1. Thank you Casey. This painting made for great playground. I didn't want to stop.

  2. Ken, you are always such a delight ... your paintings and your words. This is stunning. I appreciate your comments about the feeling when working on a commission ... a very important aspect of creating work for someone that is somewhat specific. One other sentence I especially love, "It was a bit sad to have it leave the studio where it had been entertaining me for weeks." This is great and exactly how I feel about many of the paintings that I find I have truly immersed myself in, heart and soul!

    1. Thanks for the nice comments Marsha! It's a good feeling when we have a piece of work that engages us so much. It's wonderful to be an artist.