I need a little bit of etiquette advice.
Over a year ago I commissioned an artist on Gaia for a painted, full body couple piece. I paid half ($80) upon the delivery of a rough sketch, with the agreement that I would pay the other half after she got the flat colours for the second character down, and have only received one completed part of the commission (one character, the other still in a sketch state. I was never asked to send the second half of the payment during my correspondence with her). Since then I have not been able to get in contact with the artist, despite numerous attempts on my part. They've clearly been around, and are using the completed part of my commission as an art example, stating that it's a finished commission. They're even using it as an icon for their deviantart account.
Now, I've long since given up on attempting to get in contact with the artist, since it's fully clear they're ignoring me and I don't know what else I can do, but my question is this:
Since I technically paid for this half finished commission (her price for one painted full body was $80), and since she's using it as an example for further commissions, do I have the right to use the image? It just feels really weird to me. It can stand alone as a single character piece, but I know it isn't, and it technically wasn't what I commissioned her for.
I do like what has been finished, and would like to include it in my art references for the character. I just feel like it might be weird. :/
So at the advice of commenters, here is the full beware.
WHAT A full-body painted piece of my two characters
WHEN February 20, 2011 - Present
Unfortunately, Gaia seems to have deleted my sent folder (I don't use it very much, haha), so I don't have any proof of any other messages I have sent her.
She has also posted a dA journal, updated her Gaia shop, and even finished another commission in the mean time.
I would just like either the other have of my commission or the commission closed. Any correspondance at all would be welcome, really... I sent her an e-mail notifying her I would be posting about her here, and also mentioned that once we have resolved the issue I'll mark it as such.