COMMISSIONED WORK
by George Allen Durkee


 

It is a maddening paradox that it is easier to sell a painting before it exists, to allow someone to tell you what or how to paint, to attempt to express someone else's vision - as in, "Paint me a picture of my house, my childhood memory, my dog. Be what I want you to be and I'll give you money." 

This is poison to the creative spirit. Imagine you have been given an assignment to write a paper on a particular subject and prove a particular thesis, whether you agree with it or not. Compare that to writing a letter to a friend. That's the difference between a commission and your painting, painted your way. Every painting is a self portrait. A painting done for the market says either, "Please love me," or "Just give me the money." This is not art. It is either co-dependence or commercialism.

There, I said it.

George Allen Durkee


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