A New Family Heirloom

When I was a kid, I used to gaze in awe and envy at the art hanging in my best friend Anne's home. Her grandmother painted three beautiful life-size portraits of Anne and her two brothers as young children, maybe age 4 or 5. The paintings seemed so romantic and old-fashioned and very, very special. They made Anne and her brothers seem extra important and adored. I wanted someone to paint me. Looking back, I guess that was the spark that fanned my love of great portraiture and I've always been drawn to the work of John Singer Sargent, Edouard Manet, Thomas Gainsborough and Ingres. I love to imagine the inner thoughts of their subjects, now-long-gone, looking straight back at me from their frames. If I had lived one hundred years ago and had loads of money, I would have sat for a portrait at eighteen or before my wedding or with my family and hung the portrait over our grand fireplace. This is the same part of me that as a bookish and romantic child wanted to have a coming out ball, go away to boarding school and summer on the French Riviera - none of these normal things for a girl growing up in South Dakota.

But now that I am an adult with my own son, I can have his portrait painted. I've been looking for someone to capture his spirit in a style I like. I found that someone in the Ukraine thanks to Etsy and her name is Inna, aka Miss Black Eyes. In this day and age of digital photography, it is easy to send a jpeg file half-way around the world to a talented artist who can take her time to paint an energetic 2-year-old who would never be still enough for an actual sitting. 

Thank you, Inna, for turning this photograph of my son...

...into this beautiful oil portrait!

I can't wait to have Inna paint a portrait of my daughter, due to join our family in October, to hang next to this in two years time. These will be our new family heirlooms.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful!! Love his expression, so open and joyful. Excited for that baby girl!!! xo