Friday, November 15, 2013

I HATE doing commissioned paintings....

well, not every single one of them but most.
This one took me FOREVER.

Actually it's the second painting of this little dog.
I had done one of just his face and then when he came into the clinic,
I realized that my painting of him, that I had not yet finished, had him with a much wider face.
One of my co-workers thinks that maybe I was channeling my Jimmy instead.
So I started over and did a full body painting from a photo I had taken of him.

At first I had him too "yellow" and then too dark and finally I think I came up with a shade that I felt was right.
Or at least as close as I could get.
Then I kept messing with his "eyes" and suddenly one was bigger than the other.
Finally I got to the point where I felt it was the best I could do...
although I still am not completely happy with the finally result.
I tell you, it's so mentally exhausting on me that I wonder why I do it.
I took the painting into my co-worker and she was ecstatic.
She even wiped her eyes.
Now she wants me to paint her other dog.
I already have another co-worker ahead of her who has sent me photos of her dog (who has passed on a few years ago) and she wants me to do his portrait with his tongue out.
Luckily they are very good photo shots but I feel the pressure just thinking about it.
Then another co-worker who is moving and will be gone in a few weeks asked me to paint her dog too...
and then another has text me photos of her mom's dog and her grandma's dog and needs them as Christmas presents.
Jeez, the pressure.
and then...there's the money issue.
How much to charge. 
In this world of art prints and copies of paintings at Hobby Lobby and Target selling at super low prices, people just don't get it.
People ask how much time I spent on painting and that kinda drives me crazy.
Today I gave a dog a bath and blow-dried him and his owner paid me almost as much as I made for the painting and it only took me 20 minutes!
(Yeah, take a moment to think about that!)
There's much more to this story but you never know who is reading my blog so I'm just leaving it here.
I think I will do the paintings that I must do and then just concentrate on my "Kanga" and my "Blue" book,
and on my house. 
Yep, just working on it and getting it to a point where I'm happier with it.
I know well enough that I will never be done with my "House" projects
or the "Happiness" thing.
But I do need to learn to just enjoying Life instead of working and worrying it away.

Oh! and one more thing -
I actually COOKED the other day.
Oh wait, not cooked but BAKED.
Baked cookies for Blue's birthday for work.
What a pain!
But it was in honor of Blue and everyone said they were delicious and they ate them all!
and it did have an UP side in the fact that
the frosting turned everyone's lips and teeth BLUE!


Nita Stacy said...

I know exactly how you feel. I get so beside myself with thinking what are they expecting it to look like and will they like it. Especially because it has to look like someone they really love. Will it capture their personality when all I have to go on is a photo? I did one a couple of months ago and I put it off and put it off because I was so afraid it wouldn't live up to their expectations. It turned out ok and they said they loved it but I still feel weird about it. It's much better to just create with out expectations. If it turns out nice and someone wants to buy it...that is better. I think you have to be an egomaniac for this situation not to bother you as an artist. Although as a designer...I don't get this nagging feeling because I go in with several ideas and then I mess with it till I have something I like and they like and that does the job. But a painting is so much more personal. I think this is a very cute little guy.

I showed some paintings to a neighbor who exclaimed.." should be rich! As well as you should be making so much money! Why you could charge $50 for that!

"$50!" I said... I won't take less than $150. It's got like 15 hours of work in it plus supplies!" She then said...Oh...of's totally worth that...I don't know what I was thinking.

That is the problem...they have no idea how much time this sort of thing takes. Plus you have to know how to do it and be motivated. It's not just's work!

People do not get it.

I think this little painting turned out super cute.

Another friend chastised me at dinner the other night..."I don't know why you aren't just painting all the time." You'd be such a success.

Well...I have bills to pay while I paint all the time...that is the problem...I have to make money before I can take the time to paint. That is the problem. I'll keep trying though.

And I swear the next painting I do is going to be for me...and I can do whatever I want on it and won't worry about someone not liking it!

lynn said...

I think yu did a great job painting this dog! Love the eyes.

Pamela Smallcomb said...

This painting is SO CUTE! I love it. No wonder you're getting requests.
I know how you feel about the money. People don't see the work that goes into your paintings (or any art). They try to judge it by some other thing - like 'How big is it?' and the colors you used. lol.
I vote that you do what makes you happy, art-wise and life-wise. :)) xox!

Anonymous said...

It is a really good painting!

Yes what to charge for a painting? The more known You'llbe the more You can take so just keep on painting for others and soon You'll make more money.

Have a great day!


An Urban Cottage said...

Unless you hit it big, you just can't get paid what you put in to these. And if someone asks how long it took you to paint that, you should say, "my whole life." There's a whole lot more that goes into them the time it takes to do that one painting. There's years of experience.