Two Family Portrait Paintings: ‘Seneca’ and brother ‘Mason’

November and December Family Portrait Paintings

The paint has really been flying in my studio for the past two months. I’ve had the extreme thrill of receiving SEVEN commissions! Six of these are family portrait paintings and one is a pet portrait.

Although they’re all in the same portrait category, these projects represent a wide variety of subjects, settings and sizes. And this is the biggest backlog I’ve had since I began painting seriously. At the end of November I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get them all done in time for Christmas! But I’m all caught up now.

Since most of these creations are for Christmas presents, their identities are TOP SECRET!!! Shhhhhh don’t tell! 🙂

But I CAN reveal two of the family portrait paintings now, since these were done for an early December birthday present. Here are two cute siblings — Seneca and Mason:


‘Seneca’ and ‘Mason’

These two cherubs were commissioned by their mother’s aunt Lillian, my latest art patron. She lives right here in Austin, Texas; so I planned to deliver these family portrait paintings in person. When ‘Mason’ and ‘Seneca’ were complete, I drove them over and Lillian asked if I would like to see her art collection! Would I ever!

Delivering the Family Portrait Paintings and Viewing Lillian’s Art Collection

She had a houseful of stunning pieces, in every genre and medium. What a beautiful Austin home she has made with so many unique and thought-provoking pieces! I was grateful and flattered that she trusted me with her precious loved ones. She clearly has vast experience with looking at and appreciating art!

Not only that, she also commissioned another painting for her brother of his two handsome dogs! That one IS a Christmas gift; so I won’t post it ’til January.

I am so grateful for all of you who help in so many ways to support my art! 

Have a most wonderful Christmas season, and revel in the time spent with those you love!

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Painting Child Portraits: #2/3 ‘Princess Charly’

I really love painting child portraits, especially of my granddaughter Charly! This is the second in a set of three portraits I’m doing in the style of famous artists.

Franz Winterhalter Painted Child Portraits

My ‘Princess Charly’ was inspired by Franz Winterhalter’s’ masterpiece ‘Princess Charlotte of Belgium’. Winterhalter was the go-to painter for European royalty in the mid nineteenth century. He is most well known for his court portraiture and painting child portraits. Winterhalter’s fame spread across the globe; but he gradually lost favor with art critics because he tended to flatter and romanticize his subjects. Happily, he became popular and wealthy from his tactfulness!

winterhalter-child-portrait-paintingpainting-child-portraits-charly3Winterhalter’s Charlotte (painting) — Princess Charly (photo)

Princess Charlotte was born in Brussels in 1840, the only daughter of King Leopold I and his second wife, Louise of Orleans. Charlotte was about 8 years old when Winterhalter painted her.

At seventeen, she married Archduke (rarely called ‘Archie’) Maximilian of Austria. in 1864 French Emperor Napoleon III asked Maximilian  to become Emperor of Mexico. Charlotte embraced her new country. She changed her name to Carlotta and enjoyed exploring the Mayan ruins. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with painting child portraits; but bear with me.

After three years, France grew weary of the difficulty and expense of occupying Mexico. They recalled their troops and reduced supplies. This caused Carlotta to return to France to plead for assistance. Juarez led Mexican resistance fighters to retake control of the country. Maxmilian was promptly executed (firing squad). His last words were ‘Poor Carlotta’. Back in Belgium, Carlotta became clinically depressed. She spent the remainder of her life in seclusion (a quaint suburb of Meise) and died in 1927.

Back to painting child portraits. After this depressing vignette, wouldn’t you like to have your spirits lifted by a fabulous original oil painting?

I’m Painting Child Portraits for Christmas!

‘Princess Charly’ was great fun to paint. I’d like to spend the next few weeks painting child portraits for friends to give as Christmas presents. Do you have a young family member who deserves to be a prince or princess?

I’ll need to start soon to have your painting ready for Christmas.
Call me and let’s talk about it!  (512) 422-0654

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Family Painting — ‘The Puzzlers’

oil-family-painting-puzzlersWe are family ♫ I got all my sisters and me! ♫ Sing it!

I love to paint flowers, still lifes and landscapes. But the most fun for me is PEOPLE, especially those I know and love. This recently completed family painting is a celebration of the last time I had a “girls weekend” with my sister and two cousins.

Although we are scattered across Austin, San Antonio and Houston, we still manage to schedule this special time without much difficulty. If we just make up our minds that it’s a priority! But if we’re not careful, we get busy and eventually realize it’s been 8 months since our last reunion. That’s too long!

Taking Photos for a Family Painting

When we are together, one of our favorite activities is working a jigsaw puzzle. There is something compelling about getting those weird shapes organized into a beautiful picture. And there’s all that teamwork! Last time, at my sister’s house, I made everyone sit still for some photos I could use to paint a group portrait.

Yes, they mugged a lot of goofy expressions. But finally I got a couple of photos I could combine in a composite image for this family painting. A bit of artistic license 🙂

Family — Painted with a Palette Knife

I tried to capture the energy of the moment by using my palette knife and lots of color. The images in the photos were so backlit that everyone appeared silhouetted. I figured my family painting “victims” would not be satisfied with that; so I lightened the forms and added a few details. But didn’t want to get too hung up in the features — it is an abstract painting of the family, after all!

There is such a joyful vibe when I am with this branch of the family — painting them brought back such great memories. When we’re together, we’re so relieved not to be called upon to do ANYTHING for anyone! We don’t discuss world problems or other weighty matters. But we do lots of reminiscing and laughing about our grandparents and parents.

Oh, and we all SING while we are puzzling. We just tune into an oldies radio station and viola — we are the Supremes, Elvis or The Four Seasons! It is DIVINE! These weekends are SO good for the soul.

I hope this family painting reminds you to get together with your favorite people in the coming weeks. Don’t let the time slip away — schedule it now!

You’ll be so glad you did! And don’t forget to SING!

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