Commissions

I accept commissions from institutions ( eg schools, churches, cathedrals, museums, corporations, publishers ) and from individuals and am happy to consider painting in any style appropriate to the subject matter.

Daphne enjoying a game of tennis (detail)
Daphne enjoying a game of tennis (detail)
Thomas Cantilupe enters Hereford Cathedral on Christmas Day 1276

The Starting Point
The starting point for each piece of work is research. I care very much about this aspect of every painting. I make a site visit if that is appropriate, I research relevant histories and documents and have discussions with the commissioner about their specific requirements.

I intend my pictures to have a ring of authenticity that comes out of a scholarly approach to my original sources, but I allow myself scope for artistic license and have absolutely no desire necessarily to be ‘highbrow’. A final design might draw directly on an original manuscript illustration into which I weave my own subject matter and storyline (see The Legend of St Frideswide under Nuns on the Run in Latest News), or the composition might simply be drawn from my own imagination. My paintings are intended to delight as well as educate.

For pictures designed to record a particular place, its history or folklore, I will work from sketches and photographs taken on site and do my bookwork too, researching the available local history. The final painting grows out of all these elements and becomes a custom-made image of characters, events, architectural and topographical details unique to that place.

Subjects
At first, the subjects for my paintings were taken exclusively from medieval or earlier history. However, I have discovered that events from any time – past or present – and any culture can be the starting point for an original Merry Illumination. I have enjoyed working in Celtic, Japanese, Indian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco genres, for example, just as much as in medieval style.

Gloucester Cathedral. Christmas Day 1085. King William orders the Domesday Survey to be compiled.
The Art Deco Belles of London City

I  am happy to consider commissions that commemorate a person as well as a place or an event. Biographical pictures have been very popular to be given as gifts for a birthdays, anniversary, wedding, graduation or retirement.

Japanese Mariko
Japanese Mariko

Painting process

I draw out my designs in pencil and ink and then apply colour with watercolour paints and gouache. The paint is usually applied thickly to give as rich an effect as possible but watercolour lifts and ‘moves’ beautifully so that I can play around with highlighting, form and texture. It is possible to achieve bold and subtle effects as befits the subject matter. I use a limited palette for the medieval pictures having discovered that a few tempera colours give the most authentic ‘medieval’ effect.

The Artist at Work (detail)

Information on Products and Pricing

For original watercolour paintings

A4 minimum (21cms x 30cms) £650 – £750

A3 minimum  (30cms x 42cms)  £1,200 – £1,500

A2 minimum  (42cms x 60cms)  £3,500 – £4,000

These prices include a site visit, researches and original artwork (unframed). Prices may vary according to complexity of researches, artwork and deadlines. This must be discussed with the artist before work begins and a contract signed. 50% of the fee to be paid before commencement of work.  The remainder to be paid on completion of the commission. For all options and to discuss ideas please contact Alison via the contacts page.

Cards and Limited Edition prints

Short or long runs of cards (no message, seasonal greetings, personalised, corporate message etc) and prints or limited edition prints with a bespoke Merry Illumination can be commissioned for commercial, promotional or business purposes. A custom-made illustration can commemorate historical or contemporary people, places, events, anniversaries or festivals and related merchandise can make unique and profitable gifts or souvenirs. There is a minimum order of 1000 cards on a commissioned card run. Please contact the artist via the contact page to discuss your merchandising needs and for information on available products and current prices.

Terms and Conditions

Copyright is inalienable and remains with the artist even if the original artwork is purchased.  Reproduction fees must be negotiated with the artist directly or via her copyright agent if the image is to be marketed. Images from this website may not be reproduced for commercial or marketing purposes without the prior knowledge and agreement of the artist.

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