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About Commissions

House and Garden

Special Places and Events

On-Site or from Photos


Customer Response

Bird Paintings
Maine Lake
oil on canvas, 24" x 32"

Turn your favorite places into art!

Is there a special place, a home, garden, vacation property, the site of an important event, or some favorite scene that you would like to see transformed into a painting?

An original oil painting or small series of paintings can provide a highly satisfying interpretation of the beauty, spirit, and feel of a place, from close-up details to wide open vistas. If there is a place that has special meaning to you or someone you know, consider having it painted.

For a free consultation to discuss a commission: contact me.


I specialze in expressive, small format oil paintings - work that has earned a feature article in American Artist and a spotlight in the Art Business News report on "Small Art's Giant Appeal." However, you can choose from a range of formats, sizes and media, from large canvas paintings to ink, charcoal or pastel drawings.

In addition, you can have your commissioned paintings or drawings turned into high-quality print and greeting card reproductions, on request.

I can work on location or from photographs.

Now also doing bird paintings
of your favorite birds or from
your bird photos

About half of the images seen on this page and in the portfolio were done on location, half from photos. Follow the links on this page to see further examples of both methods and read customer responses:

1) ON SITE: I can paint on location any time of year. If the scene you want painted is outside western New York, I will charge for basic travel expenses, in addition to the commission price. However, travel costs can be reduced if such travel can be combined with one of my Itinerant Artist tours, or if you provide room and board.

2) FROM PHOTOGRAPHS: I have achieved very good results working in the studio from photographs. Naturally, the photographs determine the focus. But, even when my knowledge of the place is limited to what I can see in a photo, my landscape painting experience allows me to move beyond transcription to artistic expression.


Both the painting and the drawing shown at the special places link, as well as the larger paintings shown at the house and garden and customer response links were done from photos. The Maine Lake scene at the top of this page was done from photos. Feel free to contact me for further examples of work done from photos.

When painting landscapes, including home and garden scenes, I find that a small painting or a set of small paintings is a very effective way to capture an intimate impression of time and place. I do most of my work in oil on small panels. I do, however, work in a wide range of sizes or media. And sometimes, for fun, I'll adopt another painter's style. So if you have something else in mind, from a large canvas painting or charcoal drawing to a miniature watercolor or ink drawing (or anything in between), let me know, and we can discuss all the options.

I may have recommendations for your particular project, but your interests and needs come first. Some clients have a very specific result in mind; others prefer for me to follow my artistic instincts.

My Magritte-style house portraits, first done on a whim, have proven popular.

High quality prints and greeting card reproductions of commissioned paintings are available on request. Please inquire for a quote on prices and turnaround time for specific quantities.

Framing is an option. I work with a high quality framer and can offer a full range of choices - from simple wood or metal framing to something more elaborate - at a discounted price. If you're interested, let me know.

Commission prices start at $150 for small drawings or oil sketches. My usual small-panel landscape, house or garden paintings start at $350; a set of three at $650. A set of small paintings framed together makes a very nice and unique presentation. More-involved and larger panel paintings, medium to large canvas paintings, and large drawings range from $400 - $2500, depending on subject, size and complexity.

E-mail me
to see sample paintings and drawings in a range of sizes along with the respective prices for comparable commissions.

In painting birds, my aim is to combine knowledge of birds and their environment with poetic and painterly concerns. The results are quite varied, sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical. For commissions, I take a straightforward approach (see Blackburnian Warbler, near the top of this page; Hooded Warbler, near the bottom of my Bird Art page), unless the client wants something different.

When I'm working with someone else's bird photos, I can make subtle changes to composition and color and distil a birder's favorite shot -- or the one that didn't quite work out as hoped -- into a satisfying, original work of art. Turning photos into oil paintings adds a personal touch; and I think my sense of fondness for birds comes through.

See my Bird Art page for more samples.

To arrange or discuss a commission:

jhmott [at] juno [dot] com