Deep Waters- commisioned

Beginning a commisioned silk painted art quilt

This is a quick over view of the process of creating a hand painted silk art quilt and the process of working on a commissioned piece of art, as apposed to whatever you may feel like doing.I have found some of my best art quilts have come from a commission. There is a fine balance between  you as an artist creating original work and making something dictated by another person’s taste.

It’s not as  hard of a seeming conflict to reconcile as it might seem. Someone who has commissioned a work from you already likes you work and style. They want one of your creations. So if you communicate well, ask a lot of questions, have them send pictures of something similar to their idea, and you in turn  send photos to them as well, to clarify what they are picturing.

I always think of the analogy of going in for a haircut. You clearly tell the hairdresser what you want and she seems to understand exactly. When you get home, arggh-this is NOT what you wanted. What went wrong? She thought she understood you and you thought she did, but she understood what she thought you were saying.

So this step is crucial. Send a sketch or 2 of what you think the client wants, get feedback. Here’s an idea my client had and some examples of sketches I worked up and sent to her.

Not exactly right. It was my interpretation of what I thought she would like. I didn’t sense enthusiasm.  Back to the drawing board. She wanted a large kracken or octopus threatening the ship.


Next step translate her vision into my vision and style. I painted the background. I decided a big raging storm would be cool. I let a spot where I can applique a ship behind a wave on the left. More painting to come as well.

Big Storm

I painted my ship roughly. A few light pencil marks to guide me. The silk is already fused to Wonder Under by Pellon. I played around with placement before I cut it out and fused it down, as shown in next picture.

Below, the ship cut out and fused down.

More later, the Krackin! Stay Tuned!
Had enough for 1 sitting? More later.
PEACE OUT FOR NOW. Who said that? It sounds so cool.

The painted Octopus on silk, ready for applique.
Playing with placement

It’ time to send some progresses photos to your client, get their reaction.

Ocean floor, a sunken ship

2 thoughts on “Beginning a commisioned silk painted art quilt”

  1. Love the paintings. They’re very strong and charged. Working with a commission is a great experience when you know you’re finally on the right track. I tend to work better when I know someone has expectations. It’s a little nerve wracking but worth it in the end.

    Good luck!


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