Commissions and Public Works

Thank you for your interest in my artwork. If you enjoy my style, but don't find exactly what you are looking for in my galleries, a commission piece is a great way to get the exact size, subject or colors you desire.  Commissions are fun and easy to do. Just check out the directions below to see how you can order a custom piece of art small or large, specifically tailored for you!
Please click on picture to increase image size

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preliminary sketch, back view of moose for Excell School 
Foundation Commission Fundraiser

Finished acrylic on fiberglass sculpture
"Salmon Mousse"
sold to private buyer for $10,000.

preliminary sketch, front view of moose for Excell School 
Foundation Commission Fundraiser


Commissions are among my favorite things to do.  It is fun for me to work with people on specific colors, textures, backgrounds, borders, subjects and sizes.  Commissions offer me new challenges and ideas to work on.  I find it rewarding to create a custom piece for someone and know that when I am finished my artwork has a good home to go to.

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SAL-37-romanceintheriver.jpg (163951 bytes)

preliminary sketch
John and Lisa saw my painting "Season Finale" at a friend's
house and wanted something similar, but with different
dimensions and border.

finished painting "Romance in the River"
They were very happy with the finished painting. John recently told me " It has been years since you painted it, but I never tire of looking at it every day."


If you are interested in commissioning a piece of artwork, the process is quite simple...

1) The first thing to do is choose your dimensions.  I often create works of art for specific areas in a home or business (thin horizontals over fireplaces, narrow verticals beside windows, large triptychs for expansive walls, small squares for bathroom or kitchen nooks, etc.).  I charge approximately $300 per square foot (so a 12" x 24" would be around $600 for example). I usually take a half down deposit to get started and accept MasterCard, Visa, check, or money order.  I can also set up a payment plan if you would prefer.

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preliminary sketch
Robert wanted a very special piece for his wife's 50th Birthday present.  He liked my puzzle format and wanted to include many aspects of their lives within it.  Their garden, home, children, love of wine and fly-fishing.

finished painting "My Heart is Yours"
Robert emailed me to say "It is truly a wonderful piece, my wife and children love it.  After a few tears, my wife said "It is absolutely perfect!"


2) The second thing to choose is your subject, paying attention to colors, backgrounds, textures, and borders when you look through the website.  I can either combine a number of paintings (if you like the subject in one, the water in another and border in a third, for example), or paint something similar to an existing painting, keeping in mind that every painting is unique.  I can also paint new subjects although my style will remain the same.  I prefer animals, botanicals, landscapes or people (though no exact likenesses of people or pets please).

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SHAR-1-doc'sclassroom.jpg (179916 bytes)

preliminary sketch
Dr. Gruber is the leading researcher of lemon sharks in the world.  His scientific lab is in the Bahamas.  He and his wife Marie wanted a painting to represent his passion for lemon sharks and their environment.

finished painting "Doc's Classroom"
Marie wrote, "The painting is outstanding, I could feel the love and fun in it!" and Doc added, "She arrived and is hanging in her place of honor, thank you 1,000,000 times!"


3) The third thing to choose is your medium.  I work with acrylic on canvas, wood, clay and metal or a combination (Please see three dimensional "puzzle" paintings).  When working on wood, I am able to add accents such as fused glass and stone tiles, wood moldings, and sculpted clay (fired and air-dried) to add three-dimensionality.

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preliminary sketch
Dianne wanted a small painting of the flickers that she enjoyed seeing from her window each day.

finished painting "My Friend Flicker"
She emailed "I love it and know it will be an exquisite and treasured piece.  It is even more beautiful than I could have imagined!"

4) After you have chosen your size, subject, and medium I will do a rough sketch and email or snail mail it to you for approval.  You are able to make any changes you would like.  Most commissions can be completed in 3-5 weeks, depending upon my schedule.  When I am finished I will send you a photo of the completed piece.  If you approve it, I will collect the second half plus shipping and send it out to you.  If you are not satisfied with the finished piece (which hasn't happened in over 30 commissions!) I can make changes, or return your deposit.

luckycharmsketch.jpg (143970 bytes)

SAL-48-luckycharm.jpg (196021 bytes)

preliminary sketch
Kris had enjoyed my artwork at various shows, but was looking for a specific size, shape, and subject.  After I drew the sketch, she decided she wanted an uneven border, so we made that change to the final piece.

finished painting "Lucky Charm"
She wrote, "I wanted to let you know how much I love the painting!! It looks great on my wall and my family and I enjoy looking at it.  I cannot thank you enough for your willingness to make such a cool painting "just for me"!

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DOG-1Buddys friends.jpg (94813 bytes)

preliminary sketch
Linda had seen my work at galleries, but wanted a specific painting to represent her family dogs, especially because Buddy was "getting up there".

finished painting "Buddy's Friends"
She was very happy with the final painting, "it provides a precious memory for years to come."

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preliminary sketch
Eileen and Cindy were drawn to "Tidepool Heron", which sold at the Seattle aquarium.  They wanted to re-create the painting but adding a humming bird and painting it on multiple canvases in a "puzzle" format.

finished painting "Sunday Brunch"
"We love "Sunday Brunch" which hangs over our kitchen table, the title is so appropriate!  We constantly get compliments on it.  Thank you so much!  Someday we hope to commission another work.

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finished painting "Rooster Tales"
Pam was moving out of her grandparent's farm home and into a studio.  She wanted the memories of the chickens from the farm in a puzzle format with fall colors and lots of texture.  She writes, "This painting is so amazing to look at, especially up close!  It will always have a place of honor in my home."


Public Works of Art

Below you will find examples of artwork that I have been commissioned to do for public places.  I find this work extremely rewarding and I intend to broaden my experience in this field.  I also enjoy working with community groups such as the Spokane summer murals project which I completed in 2010.  I worked with a group of 6-8 youth to complete five 110 foot walls in Spokane's downtown region.  My next large project was "Riverdance" a permanent 22 foot by 24 foot mixed media permanent installation in the Spokane Convention Center Lobby.  I have recently taken a variety of mosaic and cement sculpture classes so that I can enter the realm of exterior public works with the skills that I need.  At the beginning of 2012 I completed a 2 foot by 20 foot mosaic mural with mosaiced concrete sculptures for the Mellow Monkey Yoga Studio in Millwood, WA.  I  completed a public works project for the city of Lewiston, ID in 2013 on 5th Street Pedestrian Bridge and on the intersections of 5th and F Street.  I have recently completed paint and glass mosaic murals for the Ruby and Ruby 2 Hotels in Spokane, WA

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane


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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane


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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane

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Mosaic mural, Ruby 2 Hotel, Spokane


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Mellow Monkey Yoga 
Studio Before

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Mellow Monkey Yoga 
Studio After

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MMrightdoor_cole.jpg (123092 bytes)

MMrightside_cole.jpg (113196 bytes)

MSCUL-17flowersalmon_cole.jpg (118004 bytes)

MSCUL-20-salmonball_cole.jpg (150934 bytes) MSCUL-19-salmonball_cole (2).jpg (146038 bytes)

BigKoiPond-Melissa_Cole.jpg (314213 bytes)

ConventionCenter_Cole.jpg (267165 bytes)

Salmonmousseoutside_cole.jpg (150833 bytes)

Balazsmural_cole.jpg (174247 bytes)

fishmural_cole.jpg (138670 bytes)

wildriver_cole.jpg (162057 bytes)

OCT-4-octoblinddate.jpg (217860 bytes)

Riverdance_Cole.jpg (254631 bytes)

davenportdiva_cole.jpg (162641 bytes)

Salmonwave_Cole.jpg (104435 bytes)

Tiidepoolprince_cole.jpg (176254 bytes)

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Cosmictroutnom_cole.jpg (197255 bytes)

Convention_Center_041mclose-dd.jpg (246466 bytes)

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Keywords: original commissioned paintings by Melissa Cole, how to commission a painting, colorful fun fine art, patterns, textures, preliminary sketches, herons
chicken hummingbird, dogs, salmon, bird, moose, public work, public art