Float + Soak | A Commission that Terrified Me

Y’all. This commission was one of the hardest, yet most fun, I’ve ever done (and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost some sleep over it).

Let me tell you a story.

I get a message in the fall from dear friends (Lori and Wes Tuttle) about a commission to add to their collection of art. I am so blessed to have worked with them previously on two separate commissions and was excited at the prospect of a third!

Here comes the plot twist…instead of working with them directly, as I have in the past, and getting direction and inspiration directly from the clients…I had the opportunity to work with their decorator and completely surprise them! The Tuttles had no say in colors, inspiration, look or composition, nor were they involved in the approval process at all. Their designer, Sarah Mickney of Design Envy, and I FaceTimed a few times throughout the process and she provided me with wallpaper and fabric samples, as well as the strict instruction to include just a hint of orange to tie in their love of all things Clemson (yes, this was hard for me to do).

I know Lori and Wes from way back when in Charleston, and knowing that they are both very sentimental, I knew I needed to focus on the Lowcountry, a place where they dated, married and lived before moving to Fort Mill. Before I knew it, the two blank canvases transformed into a flowing deep blue creek and green marsh scene, reminiscent of a hot Fourth of July day where Lori and I, along with some other friends, sat on floats in the creek outside of my parents’ house and yelling to Papa Joe to refill our floating cooler with Coors Lights when we ran low.

I had the best time delivering “Float” and “Soak” to Lori at a random Winnsboro truck stop off I-77 on a rainy Friday afternoon, and seeing her shocked face as she got to see not only the paintings for the first time, but hear the story behind why I chose this scene, I knew I got it right. These custom pieces will hang in the Tuttle’s newly-decorated dining room and I cannot wait to see them!

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