Q: When you left the Navy you worked on commission as a portrait artist. Why don’t you accept commissions now?

Barbara's studio

Barbara’s studio

A:  As I have often said, I left the active duty Navy in 1989, but stayed in the Reserves. The Reserves provided a small part-time income and the only requirement was that I work one weekend a month and two weeks each year.  Plus, I could retire after 13 more years and receive a pension.  (In 2003 I retired from the Navy Reserve as a Commander).  The rest of the time I was free to pursue my studio practice. 

For a short time I made a living making commissioned photo-realist portraits in soft pastel on sandpaper.  However, after a year I became very restless.  I remember thinking, “I did not leave a boring job just to make boring art!”  I lost interest in doing commissions because what I wanted to accomplish personally as an artist did not coincide with what portrait clients wanted.  I finished my final portrait commission in 1990 and never looked back. 

To this day I remain reluctant to accept a commission of any kind.  So I am completely free to paint whatever I want, which is the only way to evolve as a serious, deeply committed artist.      

Comments are welcome!

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara Rachko is a New York Artist, Blogger, and Author who has been meticulously working in Soft Pastel on Sandpaper for 30+ years.

Posted on October 4, 2014, in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Creative Process, Inspiration, New York, NY, Painting in General, Pastel Painting, Photography, Quotes, Studio, Working methods and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I like your answer to why you do not do portrait commissions any more. I do commission work from time to time but prefer to explore my own ideas and not have to cater to a clients likes or dislikes. Freedom. I am now retired from my job of 20 years with the State of Washington and focusing on art and ideas that I want to express. Happy painting.

%d bloggers like this: