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Hold onto that which inspires you – I can paint it to live on forever!

Life is too precious to let special moments or loved ones be forgotten.  Commissioning art is one way to capture a moment, place, event, or loved one and treasure it forever.  Think about what brings you joy – your home, pet, child, a wedding venue, meaningful seasons or places …. I can bring any of these to life in a painting for a timeless memory.  If not for yourself, consider giving a loved one or dear friend a special gift made just for them.  I paint in watercolors, acrylics and oils.  You can see some samples of paintings I have done for others on this page, but your commissioned piece will be designed to capture something unique to you!  Nothing gives me more pleasure than to add joy to someone’s life through my art.  

The process

Contact me via the contact page on this website.  I will respond as soon as possible and talk over the phone to clarify what you have in mind for your commissioned piece so we can make a plan.

You will email photographs with details of your subject (see photo tips below).  Upon reviewing the photos, I will advise you as to whether I need additional information or pictures. I can add details such as backgrounds to a picture you provide – for example, placing a dog on the beach or in a grassy area.  Sometimes, clients want to include favorite toys for children or pets or may request seasonal flowers or landscapes for a home portrait. During the consultation, I will guide you as to the size that will render the best detail and the turnaround time for completion. Once we have a clear plan of the image, background, size, medium, color, timeline, etc., I will send you a quote and invoice to you to confirm details and price.  I will require a 30% deposit and a signed quote, before I start your painting.

Keep in mind that the entire process can take up to 8 weeks.  (If you have a shorter deadline, there may be an additional rush fee). I will keep you posted via throughout the painting process with pictures and email to keep you updated. 

After the painting is complete, you will be able to review it and confirm that you are satisfied.  I am happy to try to make last minute changes after your review, but this rarely happens.  After you confirm your satisfaction and I receive the balance for the painting, I will ship it for free in the continental US (or you can arrange to pick it up if you are local to Wilmington, NC).

My deepest desire is that you love the finished product and will treasure it for years to come.


Pricing will vary based on the choice of medium, size and amount of detail you want to include so the prices below are rough, general guidelines for base prices and may have additional costs for more detail.                                                   

Small (5x7 to 8x10”)    $125 - $250 

Medium (9x12 – 16x16)    $225 - $450 

Large (16x20 – 24x30)    $450 - $1000 

Extra Large – starting at  $500 +  

*Custom sizes are available – just ask for a quote.  Keep in mind, standard sizes may save you money when framing.

Photography tips 

Lighting is critical! Natural lighting is best for all photographs.  Avoid mid-day sun and try to use photos taken in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is at a lower angle for the best effect. Make sure light is even and not filtered or spotty if in the shade.  Inside, you can use natural light from windows – avoid a flash as it creates a harsh, flat effect.  

For homes or special event settings, it is important to be able to see the architectural lines of the building as much as possible.  Shoot the angle you want to be painted.  I cannot paint a front view of a building if I only have a side angle in a photo. I can add seasonal color or extra plants in a landscape if you wish. 

Pets and people – eye level is best so get down (sit,kneel, or even lie on the ground) and as close as possible so the subject fills most of the frame.  Make sure the face area is in focus, especially the eyes.  You are trying to capture the personality of the animal or person so keep that in mind while choosing a photograph.  Try to capture exactly what you love - tongue out or in, head cocked to the side, pout face, or whatever you hold dear.  Keep in mind that I don’t know the subject and will have to rely on what I see in the photo and what you can tell me.  Multiple pictures are always a good idea to help me determine the personality of the animal/person.  If the subject is deceased, I will work with whatever you have to bring them back to life in a painting!

Other – sometimes I am asked to paint a whimsical photo or caricature.  I will still work from photos but need your guidance on what you want me to create.  I may do a mock sketch to clarify and work from there.  If you want a generic scene of a landscape such as a marsh, the beach, wildlife, etc. then I am open to creating that for you as well.  It may be that I have already done something that you like so be sure to peruse the gallery pages on my website.  

"Being a native of a coastal community, I love bringing that flair into my home, showcasing my favorite places, beaches, and coastal wildlife. Cathy’s artwork is all over my home as constant reminders of the habitats I love so much. She really captures the essence and feel of the beach which gives my home the look I’m trying to achieve. A highlight is last year’s Christmas gift to my husband, which is a beautiful water color of our German Shepherd, Maggie.  When my husband unwrapped the picture, he started to cry… and I knew Cathy had nailed the perfect image of her! When I want a special piece of artwork I look to Cathy first!  She is a true professional."

- Gail Herring 

"Cathy has painted several gifts as well as personal paintings for me.  She captured our dogs perfectly.  My favorites so far have been “Mason” painted on the bow of our boat and “Drake” for my brother and sister-in-law after he crossed the rainbow bridge."

-Nan Howard 

"Cathy shared her talent by creating a painting of our daughter’s beloved dog Midnight.  She captured the very special bond between owner and dog"

- Cathy Williams  

"Cathy Poulos is my go-to artist for client closing gifts.  Her artwork has brought tears to my clients on multiple occasions. She captures the subject perfectly!  I always know that the finished product will exceed my expectations.  Whether it is a house painting or pet painting, I am always impressed!!!"

-Neeley Bain

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This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!


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