Chicks and Blue Basket

2002 -No job too small

A mural commission can take a lot of time to do -too long sometimes. And, there are instances when no mural commissions come your way. In the first scenario, you simply get bored working on the same thing. On the second situation, you simply run out of money. So, on the one hand, one must do what one must do to cure boredom, and on the other hand, you have to find new ways "to pay the rent."

If you are an artist of good reputation, eventually someone will call on you to contract your services. But chances are that you will also receive job requests that are not the kind of work you are accustomed to. And, since the rent can't wait, you take the job if you have nothing else on your plate. So here now, I present to you a an example of the type of unusual job request I am talking about.

This commission came from a friend who had hired me in 1998 to paint a mural inside his travel agency, Panorama World Travel, in Lakewood Ohio (see the Panorama Travel Mural in the Murals page). I followed this up with another commission in 2001 that was also unusual -painting a religious icon (see 2001 Stefan's Patron Saint in the Paintings page).


Chicks and Blue Basket. 2004. Oils on canvas. 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm). Copy 1907 painting.

This particular client is like none other. "Vladan", that's his name (he is Serbian), likes collecting antiques. He had a fancy for a painting he had seen in a catalog, a very lovely painting of a blue basket filled with baby chicks surrounded by daisies. The painting had been done in 1907 by an artist I can't recall. It would have been shown in a gallery like the one shown above on the header photo. Well, Vladan wanted a copy made; the original piece was beyond his reach. And, he wanted me to do it.

For those of you who do not paint, I have to inform you that making a copy of another painting is an acquired taste that demands a great deal of skill. Not only is it necessary to imitate another artist's style, but one also has to imitate the brushstrokes and match the coloring. In addition, it takes several times longer to do a copy of a painting (a good copy) than it would take me to do a mural 10 times its size.

As much as I cringed at having to do it (this was not on my scope of interests), there was no way around it (I got travel discounts). Vladan wanted those chicks. And so, two years later, the copy of the painting was completed. I assure you, it is a twin of the original, exact in every way. As a result, I am now Vladan's best friend -for the time being.

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