The Commission Experience

Over the years, Karen has created almost one hundred custom paintings for clients. Most popular are the architectural commissions - paintings of private homes, cottages, farms, commercial buildings and institutions. Other commissioned subjects include boats, flowers and scenery in all seasons. 

Artwork can make a wonderful gift for special milestones - retirement, anniversary, graduation, engagement or birthday, or to appreciate a valued client. A custom painting can become a treasured addition to your own art collection. Whether large or small, a work of art can communicate in a personal way what no other object can. It is a permanent presence in your life and can be passed on to future generations.

The Inspiration

First, envision your favourite place: a home that holds treasured memories; a garden or other intimate space that renews and uplifts your spirit; a dramatic landscape you enjoyed while on a memorable holiday; an historic building that embodies the elegance of yesteryear...

Then, imagine being able to revisit that favourite place whenever you like. Karen Richardson can recreate your vision, making a one-of-a-kind watercolour painting just for you.  

The Launch

Can you take Karen to your favourite place, and tell her what it means to you? Can you show her why it holds a special place in your heart? You and Karen will experience the landscape together and you can glimpse the creative process, as you discuss the best approaches to the composition.

Karen will make a series of photographs that capture the right views, with the best lighting effects, in your favourite season, and take notes of all the important details to be emphasized in the art piece.

She can add flowers, move trees, change the weather - virtually anything you like. If your place is not accessable, you and Karen can meet to review your own photographs of it, and just imagine yourselves in your special spot.

If you wish, you can show Karen where you plan to display the finished artwork, in a place of honour at your residence, office, farm, vineyard or vacation home. Together you and Karen can plan the size of the painting, discuss the style of framing, and determine a timeline that suits your needs.

With the aid of modern technology, you can meet Karen and exchange ideas and reference photographs via email, even if you live on another continent. Distance is no barrier!

The Creative Journey

Karen will draw a detailed, full-sized, layout sketch of the scene and meet with you to make any needed adjustments, and obtain your approval to proceed. Then, she will transfer the sketch to watercolour paper and start making the painting, taking photographs of the various stages of its creation.

When the painting is finished, Karen can have it framed with archival materials and make delivery arrangements. You can have an unveiling celebration at her studio or at your place. If you want the painting shipped to another continent, it is safest to ship it unframed, so you can arrange for local framing.

Your Story

Included with the commission package is an autographed coffee-table-format art journal, showing the step-by-step story of your painting, for you to keep. Having this beautiful, permanent storybook will allow you to retrace the creative journey, whenever you wish.

The Package

If possible, allow at least 3 to 6 months for the project, but if needed Karen can discuss a shorter time frame. Prices for framed custom paintings range from $1,000. to $5,000. depending on size and complexity. A 50% deposit is required to start the project, with the balance due on delivery.

Contact Karen today to reserve your Commission Experience. There are a limited number available each year.



    "I have just received my second commissioned piece from Karen and again the process was delightful. From just a few pictures Karen was able to pick the angle and size of work that would best highlight the subject. Karen has a wonderful ability to bring memories to life. Thank You Karen."  ~Meghan Le Dez

    "Your artistic abilities are truly a lucky you are!  I hope you recognize how much pleasure you bring to those of us who view and possess your treasures..."  ~Nancy van Rooy

    “Thank you so much for the beautiful watercolour painting of the waterfront at our cottage. It showed our favourite sitting area. You captured the view of the lake with our dock, small boat and raft perfectly. It brings lovely memories of ‘Shady Lane’”.  ~Bill & Mary Abbott

    "My wife and I often think of you as we continue to admire the water colour you did of our home in West Hill and which was presented to us at my retirement. It's hard to realize that it will be sixteen years ago at the end of this month!"  ~Colin Hubling

    "After seeing Karen's work, we asked her to capture the warmth and uniqueness of our family home in Seagrave. We have moved since the house portrait was done and this exquisite piece of art brings to life the comfort, love and countless memories of good times with family and friends. Now that I live in downtown Hamilton, the painting is a centrepiece in our living room, prompting discussion by our guests and keeping our strong ties to the country and our roots alive. It remains one of my favourite pieces of art.”   ~MaryLynn West-Moynes

    “We first discovered Karen’s work at the Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival in August of 1999. We were especially attracted to the realism and attention to detail in her watercolours. As regular attendees at the Buckhorn festival, we returned to view her work and to make additional purchases. As we came to know Karen, we realized that not only does her art reflect her talent and knowledge but also the real joy and pride she takes in her work. In 2000 we were beginning to plan the replacement of our old cottage on Lower Buckhorn and wanted to have a painting showing the cottage in its original state. Karen was the first artist we thought of approaching for this commission. She readily agreed and worked with us to bring to life a painting from an assortment of photos taken over the life of the cottage. Karen’s friendly and professional manner made her a joy to work with. We were so pleased with the process and the final product that we plan to commission her to produce a painting of our new cottage when it is completed.” ~Patti and Brian James