What I do

I’m a professional artist and painter. I paint realistic landscapes and portraits for clients and collectors who want to decorate their homes and spaces with beautiful, original artwork.

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My Background

In addition, I’m a husband and father. My wife and I have three very cool kids. Originally, we’re from California but we’ve made our home in Western North Carolina (near Asheville).

I graduated from art school in 1990. Since then, I’ve done graphic Illustration both as a freelancer and in a corporate art department.

I’ve also painted hundreds of paintings and shown my artwork in galleries in California and North Carolina.

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My Artwork

Portraits

If you’re like me, you absolutely love your family. It’s family and the people we love that make our lives wonderful and rich and meaningful. That’s why I love painting portraits.

There’s nothing quite like a painted portrait.
It’s unique. It’s personal. It’s honoring.

Imagine owning a beautiful, original portrait that is worthy of your family legacy. Elegantly displayed for all to enjoy, now and for generations to come.

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The Portrait Process

I want your portrait experience to be nothing short of fantastic!

First we’ll set up a time that is convenient for your schedule, for me to do some sketches and take reference photographs. This will take between one and two hours and can be done at my studio or another location.

You’ll get a sketch (via email) for your approval. It’s important that your portrait starts off “on the right foot” in order to ensure that you’re delighted with the end result.

Then the final painting begins! Most of the painting will be done in the studio from sketches and reference photos. (For portraits I’ll let you know if a follow-up sitting is needed.)

You can expect your commissioned painting to be completed within three to six months. And by the way, I’m always happy to give recommendations for framing.

Terms

50% deposit due at signing of agreement, balance due at completion

All travel, lodging, framing and shipping expenses and any applicable sales tax are in addition to the fees listed.

Artist retains ownership of all photographs, preliminary sketches and copyright of commissioned artwork.

Landscapes

For me, lots of great memories are wrapped up in places. From the coast of California to Hilton Head Island SC, Chattanooga TN and of course the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

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What art lovers and collectors are saying:

It [your painting] is one of our favorites because it is such a perfect reminder of many happy trips to the Central Coast wine area. I feel as though I can step into the painting at any time and “be there.”
John M. – Memphis, TN

Love seeing your new work and still have your painting of our view over the fireplace!
Terrie B. – Santa Barbara, CA

Brennen’s paintings have a warmth that makes my eyes want to linger and look again to see what I might have missed at first glance. They give me a feeling of an unhurried pace.
Ellie G.

Your painting hangs on a main wall in our living room for us to enjoy every day… Thank you so very much for this terrific painting.
Keith L. – Grants Pass, OR

Both of your paintings are beautifully displayed on my walls.
Karen S. – Lafayette, CO

I love your color palette. The colors all seem a bit muted, as if from brilliant sunlight.
Dennis R. – NC

Brennen does everything well–lettering, graphics, painting, and illustration.
James G. – NY

Brennen, these [your portraits] are so much more than capturing the likeness – you are portraying true personalities. Wonderful!
Anne B. – Old Fort, NC

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I commission a painting?
Commissions must be booked during scheduling window. Click here to be notified of booking availability (and get a free gift!)


How much does it cost to commission a painting?

Commissioned Portrait Prices – Oil on Canvas
14 x 18 in. – $2,000
16 x 20 in. – $2,500
20 x 24 in. – $3,500

Prices for commissioned landscape paintings range from $1,000 to $8,000 (based on size of canvas)

For all commissions 50% is due up-front.


Will these prices ever change?
Prices are based on the current market value the artist’s work. However, prices are subject to change without notice.


Can Brennen paint a custom size?
Absolutely! I can build a canvas of almost any size. (For portraits the minimum size 18 x 14 in.)


Does Brennen take photos or work from life?
Typically both. While a portrait sitting is not required, it provides valuable information for the final piece.


How long does it take to complete a portrait?
A portrait is usually completed within three to six months of the first sitting.


I have a favorite view. Can I commission a painting of a landscape?
Of course! I love painting landscapes.


Does the artist paint from existing photographs?
No. Working from existing photographs or snapshots doesn’t provide the reference necessary for the artist’s best work.


Can I reproduce images of my portrait?
Images (copyright) of the portrait belong to the artist and cannot be reproduced without the artist’s written consent. But let’s talk. I’m happy to work with you.

A note on Copyright – When a work of art is made there are actually two distinct properties that are created:

1. the physical art (the painting on canvas)
2. the rights to reproduce and license the image (copyright)

When commissioning a painting or portrait, the client is engaging the artist to purchase the physical art only and not the copyright. The Artist retains copyright of all original artwork including commissioned painting or drawing.


Is a signed contract needed to commission a portrait?
Yes. The Portrait Commission Agreement ensures that all parties know what is expected of them.


Is the frame included in the cost of the portrait?
I’m happy to help in the selection of the frame, but the cost of framing is not included in the artist’s fee for commissioned work.


I would be honored to paint a portrait for your family.

Or maybe a commissioned landscape would be just the thing.

Warmly,

BMcElhaney

P.S. Keep in Touch

Get updates about new paintings, art shows, workshops and open studios! Plus insights on art, painting and creativity.

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