Commissioning art is nothing new. In fact it’s a very grand and time-honoured tradition. In Europe right up to the mid eighteenth century, artists made their living doing commissions for the church or the king. They didn’t make art for art’s sake, or to find themselves. They had jobs to do and they went to work. They had patrons.

Although patrons of the royal or religious kind are in short supply these days, I am fielding more and more inquiries about creating this kind of work. Some folks are commemorating a passage or anniversary. Others want the thrill of offering a one-of-a-kind gift to a loved one. Still others just want to get themselves out of the dog house. And speaking of DOGS, my commissions of late have been downright dogmatic (you can see some of them below).

So don’t be shy. You have nothing to lose. Just have your people call my people…or if you don’t have any actual people of your own, email me yourself or call 250 247-7308.

Here’s what they are saying:

I am absolutely thrilled with Sheila’s beautiful rendering of my wonderful furry friend, Ripley. Her sensitivity to my wishes combined with her amazing artistic talent to create a work of art I shall forever cherish.”  Janice Wilson, Gabriola BC

“I am lucky enough to have a few of Sheila’s works, but I recently asked her if she would do a commission of my nephews cat as a gift. Working through the process with Sheila was fun, creative, and informative and she was both enthusiastic and sensitive to what I wanted. She asked great questions in the initial consultation and together we were able to come up with an idea about what elements we wanted to capture in the picture. The outcome is a personalized image of our family’s beloved cat that my nephews will treasure – thank you Sheila!” Jodi Rogers, Vancouver BC

“Sheila perfectly, playfully captured the joyful spirit of our beloved Ani. The process was a delight as she took such care to get every element exactly right. We’re thrilled with the painting — and Ani is too.” Maggie and Michelle, Gabriola BC

“Just a note to let you know how much we love Annie’s portrait. Thankyou for your brilliant work on this. The painting makes me happy whenever I look at it. Now I have to repaint the house!” Regina Lorek, Gabriola BC

“I commissioned Sheila to do a painting for me as a wedding shower gift. Working with Sheila was a special opportunity — she listened carefully, was straightforward and honest about the process, and above all, encouraged me to follow my heart. The result was an exquisite painting that holds extra special meaning for me. Thanks Sheila–for your creativity, flexibility and willingness to make sure I truly love the piece. I do!” Kristin Boettger, Calgary AB

“I was delighted to receive Sam the Record Man for Christmas. It honours two extraordinary Sams: the record man and the schnauzer.Sheila has absolutely nailed the spirit of my dog Sam in both text and image. I am overjoyed with this commission.” Shelagh Rogers, Gabriola BC

“We are delighted with the way Sheila captured the essence of the puppy, using her own unique sense of humour. The whole “commission” process was a lot of fun.” Beth Vogel, Calgary AB

Commissioning a painting was something we had tried once before and what an amazingly different experience it has been working with Sheila. She was adept at evoking, interpreting and capturing the essence of our dog’s life. What a fabulous experience this has  been –  thank you Sheila!
Wendy and Norm Mitchell, St. Albert AB

“I absolutely adore my English Bulldog, she has made my life so rich, and your portrayal of her is so right on the mark.  Being in the art business for over 25 years I have had the good fortune to know some of Canada’s great artists. This painting totally captures her personality, her attitude and really, the truth about bulldogs. Your understanding of the information I provided, your research, the images you choose to set her in are absolutely brilliant.  You have captured the essence of my girl and this is something that I will cherish for my lifetime. I love this painting!”
Jackie Bugera, Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton AB

“Sheila was able to capture the heart and soul of our dog Shakey. This we will always have and we love it. Thankyou.”
Carol Osaduik, Gabriola Island BC

“I am so delighted that I asked you to commission my cheery warbler – the painting far exceeded any expectations …and I enjoy admiring him every day! This is the first time I have commissioned a painting and I have to thank you for making the experience such a joy. Not only do I have a “Sheila Norgate” painting, but a very personal one at that. Thanks Sheila!” Evelyn Kaatz, Nanaimo BC

“I am the proud owner of not one but TWO portraits by Sheila Norgate of my Boston Terrier “Henry”. I have to compliment Sheila not only on the creative and expressive work that captures my wonderful and funny boy and his ball-obsession but also on her professionalism. The whole process was a complete pleasure.” Helen Keyes, Vancouver BC

“Commissioning Sheila Norgate to create a painting was an enjoyable process from start to finish. It was exciting to see her transform my few suggestions for colours and visual elements into a finished work that contains these and at the same time reflects the artist’s unique vision.” Jacquie Pearce, Vancouver BC

“I commissioned Sheila to paint a picture for me to give to my partner of 15 years. I was FLOORED! It was perfect! It was beyond even my own imaginings. Our beloved painting hangs on the wall outside our bedroom to greet us every single morning. It was a blessing and an honor to have Sheila intuit such an accurate picture of us.” Jenn Forgie, Vancouver BC

“I commissioned Sheila to develop a picture for a very special occasion.  One of my closest friends was receiving a honourary law doctorate. The predominate theme for her speech to the new law graduates was based on The Wizard of Oz, courage, heart and intelligence, all qualities that the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion already possessed but failed to recognize.  I asked Sheila if she could incorporate these themes into her piece.  Sheila lovingly and beautifully incorporated these themes, along with Dorthy’s red shoes and carefully chosen text, as only Sheila knows how to do.  The artwork was absolutely gorgeous and I could hardly wait to give it to my dear friend.  She adored it, and the art brought tears to her eyes.  What a feast for the eyes! Wendy Barrett, Vancouver BC