Red Landscape, 2005, Oil on Panel, 24x36
Note to self: Get the exact title of the painting, when a gallery director asks for a similar piece. At the very least, double-check with her before beginning to work on the painting.
Around Christmas, the owner of one of my galleries called and asked if I could paint a piece similar to one that had been in the recent show there. She had some clients who loved the painting, especially the colors. I said I would, although it would not be exactly the same of course. And while I do feel a bit odd about doing the same piece essentially, I didn't mind doing it either. I paint the same scenes over and over all of the time, and so this isn't a huge artistic compromise for me. I feel that there is always something new to find in a scene. I agreed to do it, but told her I didn't want to take money in advance, as one would normally handle a commission. That is too much pressure for me! I just do the piece and if the client likes it, they can buy it. If not, I'll just send it off somewhere else. This generally how I feel comfortable with handling a commission, though I don't do them very often. Anyway, we briefly discussed the piece-the size, the colors and how long it would take.
I ordered the 36x48 panel and worked on the painting last week. It turned out nicely and surprisingly, looked very much like the first one. I took it down to the gallery on Saturday, glad to have it out of my hair. Carrie was very nice and said it was beautiful and she loved that image, but then gently let me know that it was the wrong piece! I was mortified and my face turned beet red. We tried to figure out where the miscommunication occurred. I always suspect that these kinds of things are my fault, and in this case I really should have double checked with her, confirming the title, size and price. Both were large pieces, although not exactly the same size and the color mentioned was red, which was a color in both pieces, though much more prominent in the one she was referring to. But for whatever reason, I came away from our phone conversation thinking it was this piece, when in fact the clients wanted the one pictured above. I have learned my lesson here and will always follow up in writing on these sorts of requests. Now have to get moving on the correct painting this week, while Carrie lets the clients know about the delay, hopefully without letting them know what a moron the artist is. Heh.
So now that I have publicly disclosed my most recent embarrassing art career moment, tell me your stories. We'll all commiserate.