Commissioned Art Expresses Your Personality

Today’s interiors are all about focusing on you as the homeowner and adding your personality to your home. There is no better way than adding art that you love – and taking that a step further – adding commissioned art created just for you. On a recent project, Ron and Kathleen Benson commissioned multiple artists to create custom works of art totally unique to them and the perfect solution for getting the look they wanted. Here are some of the artists and the commissioned works they created. I’ll be featuring more artists  in future blogs.

Lee and Sharon Jones
A mangrove sculpture for a one-of-a-kind mailbox

  • Ron and Kathleen wanted a truly unique mailbox that would complement the landscape design I’d created for them while showing the same attention to detail. We weren’t inspired by mailbox designs leafing through specialty catalogs, so with my client’s strong encouragement, I came up with a design that is truly one-of-a-kind. I love clients who are open to thinking out-of-the-box!
  • Lee and Sharon Jones create delightful mangrove sculptures – whimsical works of art – that I’d seen over the years at Tampa’s major art shows.  The Bensons live on Tampa Bay and their property by the bay is filled with mangroves. I approached the artists about creating one of their copper mangrove sculptures to hold a copper mailbox. Although they’d never done one before, Lee and Sharon said they would take on the challenge. When I showed Ron and Kathleen the idea, they were happily surprised! They said they had fallen in love with the Jones’ work, which they’d seen in a Key West gallery. Here is the signature piece:

Benson mailbox crop

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Mike Williams
A custom ink and pastel piece featuring favorite motifs

  • I also introduced Ron and Kathleen to the work of artist Mike Williams, who does very intricate and detailed ink drawings, to which he adds washes of pastel colors. His drawings speak of times past and are tropical in theme – a perfect look for the Bensons’ family room. I accompanied Ron and Kathleen to Mike’s studio after they decided they would like him to create a work of art just for them. During our visit, she picked out the map and the motifs they wanted, including drawings of their home, their boardwalk and their four-person bicycle surrey with a fringe on top. Ron and Kathleen love the unique piece of art Mike created for them, not only because it enlivens their family room, but because they played on important part in creating it. Here is Mike’s unique creation:

Benson FamRm Williams Art cropBenson FamRm Williams Art Cropped

Jim Holehouse
A stunning watercolor for their two story grand room

  •  Another commissioned artist was Jim Holehouse, whose style is quite different from Mike’s. How refreshing it is, as a designer, to work with clients who enjoy and appreciate diverse artistic styles. The Bensons were initially attracted to Jim’s work when I showed them some photos of his exuberant tropical watercolors that I had taken at the Dunedin Junior League Art Harvest. When Ron, Kathleen and I visited Jim’s studio in Winter Haven to see more of his paintings, we discussed details they wanted depicted in the work being commissioned. I then sent Jim some photos I took of Bensons’ property, including their boardwalk and surrounding palms, knowing Jim would use these for inspiration. Jim subsequently incorporated some water birds and a sky of cobalt blue at Ron and Kathleen’s suggestion. Here is the stunning result:

Benson Holehouse crop

#32 croppedDave Daley
An amazingly detailed stained glass ship scene

Dave Daley, from Artglass Studios, who had previously created the Bensons’ custom leaded glass front door, was called upon again to create another work of art. Ron and Kathleen requested a stained glass window to be featured in the wall of their steam shower. Inspired by a tapestry of an old world scene of ships with a cobalt blue night sky, we asked Dave to translate the design into stained glass. A visit to Dave’s warehouse of stained glass was a great experience for all of us. Ron and Kathleen had the opportunity to explore all the beautiful glass available and then selected their favorite pieces of stained glass to be incorporated into this work. Here is the amazing work of art:

Benson Mstr Bth Stained glass

Benson Mstr Bth stained glass (1)

So if you are looking for a special way to add your personality to your home, don’t hesitate to ask an artist to create a piece just for you. Artists are delighted when someone admires their style so much that they want to have a piece commissioned especially for them. Getting to know the artist behind the work adds another important personal dimension for you to enjoy.