Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Commission blues

Have you ever had
the Commission Blues?

This is a set of sheer panels that I made on commission to hang above a fireplace on either side of a clock and an arrangement of branches. The client said it just wasn't what she had in mind -- she envisioned something airier -- so now they're mine. She did really like the colors, which had to go with her upholstery, rug, and the clock, but she didn't like the end product.

So while I'm disappointed, at least I can do a good blog post. Above are some of the materials I pulled together -- silk chiffon that I painted, unspun hand-dyed wool, and some other yarn and fabric. I made three trips to her house with various parts of my stash before she finally found all of the colors and textures that she wanted.

We discussed design, then I set to work, above. But our minds, apparently, were on divergent paths. Below is an unfinished panel next to a sample of her upholstery. Quite different from my usual gaudy lime, hot pink and orange palette.

I finally put us both out of our misery today when I told her that I just couldn't change it anymore and I didn't want her to have to pay for something she wasn't happy with. I can't TELL you how much better I feel now that it's not hanging over me and I can move on to doing work for myself.

Have a colorful day


The Idaho Beauty said...

Yeah! Good move. And there may be someone else out there that decides this is just the thing. Or you can cut it up and infuse it with some gawdy color. ;-)

Judy Ferguson said...

Oh, I could tell you some real hum dingers that I have encountered as an oil painter. Also, I ran my own small business as a hat maker. Noooooo moooore. I do not do commissions with my fiber art.

Edith Bieri said...

Commission work can sometimes be quite difficult, but I'msure you decided right to leave as it is and maybe you can sell it otherwise.

Pam said...

I agree, commission work is completely stressful at it's best!!! Can't wait to see your usual colorful infusion bring some excitement to this piece!!!

Sherrie Spangler said...

Thanks everyone -- I feel better now that I have some company. I like the subtlety of these panels, but they're not "me."

NancyD said...

The panels were wonderful.
It is certainly her loss!

Ladybug said...

These panels are gorgeous and probably would have looked wonderful in the client's home... I agree with NancyD - it's her loss!I also agree with what others have said re: commission work - it's a tough business. Somehow, some clients just don't value the time & effort that goes into reaching the "final page", not to mention the frustration. I had the same problem with some of my artwork - and finally just did what you did with a client - pulled out and felt oh, so relieved. Follow your gut feeling and you're right on! I'm sure these lovely pieces of art will someday find a very good, APPRECIATIVE home!

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

Harumph. I like those panels...But, maybe me nominating you for a Liebster award on my blog will make you a little more uplifted as well.

Note to people thinking about making commissions: Make sure you like the style and color the artist works in before asking them to do something WAYYYYYY out of the box. Hmm. Maybe that's a little to harsh but you'd think that if ....oh nevermind!