Holiday Gift Certificates are Here!

Happy December, everyone!  Hope you shared a happy and cozy Thanksgiving with loved ones, as we did last week in Maryland.

With Turkey Day behind us, Christmas is in full swing!  I’m finally allowing myself to put Christmas music on, which is truly the BEST part of winter.  Picture the studio packed to the brim, Michael Bublé and/or Alan Jackson at full blast, constantly refilled hot tea, and me in a whirlwind, wishing for elves to help me in the workshop.  That’ll be my December!

I am no longer accepting new commissions for 2014, but if you'd like to present a loved one with the gift of artwork this holiday season, I am excited to offer gift certificates!

You can pre-order something for 2015 and I’ll send you one of these little cuties.  They have a pretty gold foil scalloped edge and the “holiday version” of my logo.  

Here's a mockup of the filled-out gift certificate (I think it would look great in metallic gold pen):

Looking forward to a busy holiday season - bring on the Mariah Carey Christmas!

Two months 'til Christmas already!?

Has this fall snuck up on anyone else besides me?  Maybe because it's still in the 70s in North Carolina… but the holidays seem soooo far away!  Alas, they're right around the corner.  

In my attempts to wrangle my business calendar, I've laid out my upcoming projects and realized there isn't a lot of space in there before the Christmas rush.  I don't mean to blatantly pressure anybody here… but if you were thinking about an AJC Christmas gift, now is the time to let me know!  

I'm also coming up with a cute design for gift cards, so your art recipient can participate in the commission process if you want them to (and we won't have to rush the actual painting).

Gifting artwork is really a joy… sometimes I have the honor of delivering artwork in person, and sometimes my clients send photos of their recipients enjoying the gift.  It's always unexpected and always unique.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!  

...and wish me luck in the coming months - it's going to be a madhouse around here! :)

Lisa's Siena

One of my best friends in the world got married this past weekend.

In 2007, she lived in Siena, Italy.  I visited her for a week and we had an amazing time.  She showed me the most wonderful things and taught me so much - but that happens no matter where we are!

I painted the sunset view of Siena from her balcony when I returned to the States.  She was supposed to have the painting from the very beginning… but I've held onto it for seven years!  yikes!

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Congratulazioni and best wishes, Lisa and Rhett!  I love you!

Rebuilding with Paint

I know a woman who has a heart the size of Texas.  She’s the kind of person who not only remembers your birthday, but she remembers your spouse’s uncle’s birthday, and how you felt about their birthday gift last year, and offers to help you make lasagna for the family when they get sick.  This family friend goes out of her way to do things for other people all the time.

Like many of my clients, she approached me with a gift idea.  She wanted an oil painting of her father’s home, which had unfortunately burned down the previous year.  Her father had poured his heart and soul into the house and an addition, and they’d lived there for years, so the accident was really tragic for the familyWhat an incredibly sweet gesture to memorialize the former home for her father.

The tricky part was… we didn’t have a good photo.  I don’t mean it was blurry or just shadowy… but there were literally zero photos of the house in the daylight before it caught fire.  She gave me one photo from the newspaper of the home’s elaborate Christmas decorations, lit up at night.  That photo illuminated the size and lines of the house, but I couldn’t see any color or detail.  Then she gave me a few photos from the house after the fire, which they used for insurance, I think… so I could see what color the house had been, and the landscaping, but the shape of the house (as you might expect) was different than it had been pre-fire.

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So I made a board of all the images and kind of made things up as I went, “rebuilding” the house on canvas, using paint!

You can see my setup below:

All the pictures were taken in the wintertime, so the trees were bare.  Because that tends to look sort of somber, she asked, “Can you change it to springtime?”

Yup!

Because of the limited source info, this painting was a bit of a puzzle and definitely had its challenges, but it was fun to piece it together for this very kind and special friend and her father.