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July 09, 2017

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What a terrible story, Carol! Just the kind of thing I always imagine, when I take on a commission! I've only once painted a portrait of someone I didn't know--a couple from Anchorage. She was having an important birthday, and they wanted to commemorate it.I told them they'd need to come to Fairbanks and spend the day with me, so I could get a sense of who they were. They flew up in the morning, and we spent the day together. They were wonderful people, and we had a great time. At the end of the day, we went back to my studio, I took a number of snapshots of them, and I felt that I could work on their portrait. It was still a very fraught experience, but a good one!

Kes, I totally agree with you about commissions, but I think the "portraits" in this post are lovely. I was once asked by a woman I didn't know to do a painting for her that included her doll sitting on the chair. I tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted. Three months after I presented it to her she called me and asked, "Could I trade in this painting for something else?" I told her an emphatic "NO - Who would want a painting with YOUR doll in it?" Last time I ever did a commission for a person who wasn't a friend.

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