images©martinward 2007
In my view, the person who commissions a painting should not just be buying a product but rather be involved in the process of its being created especially for him or her: ideally there should be a collaborative relationship between the purchaser and the artist.

Thus when I undertake a commission, I try to understand how the buyer views the world, what inspires them, what excites them, what stimulates them – and what is it about my work that has attracted them.

I therefore try to involve the buyer in the creative process as much as possible, starting with the very conception. Some have found this a pleasant surprise and the unexpected involvement in the preparatory work, viewing sketches, commenting on the composition and colour combinations, has increased their pleasure in the possession of the eventual painting.

How far buyers engage in this process in entirely up to them, but in my experience such engagement has many advantages. The buyer has the novel experience of “focused creative attention” with the artist, and my own “artistic” vocabulary is enlarged by stimulating challenges I had not foreseen or previously experienced.

After all, painting for others, and leaving behind one’s own “marks” for “others” to see, seems to have been a primal need throughout history.
martin ward