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exhibitions and commissions


I’m sure most of you know me through my classes — and I truly love doing them! But I’m also a practicing artist, and I think that’s something really special, that I’m proud of doing, and also helps me become a better teacher.


So this month, I’m going to talk a little about my current process, what I’m working on, and how my commissions work!


Right now, I have an exhibition happening with the fantastic Byard Art Gallery.

I’ve regularly exhibited with them, and I’m especially proud of this one as the move to online-only events has really interrupted the schedule.


I usually do a number of art fairs each year, where I get to showcase my work and make sales, but many of these have not operated online. Thankfully, the Byard Gallery has made the whole exhibition available online here, meaning so many great artists are able to put their work out there.


That exhibition is very typical of my work, which focuses mainly on depicting birds and chronicling nature in flight, but I also think that we can find inspiration from anywhere as artists!


A few years ago I had an amazing trip with my daughter Bo to the chihuahua cafe in Edinburgh, and I'm now inspired to do my own chihuahua piece.


This is a new and exciting piece for me, because whilst I’ve done birds, and cat pet portraits as commissions, I’ve never worked on a depiction of a dog before!


Speaking of commissions, they’re something that I’ve still been doing and taking throughout the pandemic — meaning my studio is a true mess of traditional art materials along with dust and drills and wood!


That’s because, just like for my exhibited pieces, I make all the frames for commissions myself. Which takes a bit more time, but is a really enjoyable and rewarding process.


So, how does a commission work?

Well, there are a few steps:

  • Someone can either browse through my shop for ideas, or come to me with a specific bird or animal they want to be used

  • I’ll then get a few more details about what they want, such as sizes, colouring, themes, mood boards, and budgets

  • This will enable me to suggest some ideas and talk things through with them, and when they're happy, I can get started!

  • While I’m working I’ll provide regular updates on my progress, and can arrange viewings. Most commissioned pieces take 3-4 weeks, but that also depends on the scale and your deadlines

And then you have your very own piece of commissioned artwork! If that sounds like something you’d want, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and we can talk about your ideas!


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© 2019 Sally-Ann Johns.