Painting a Memory

Coming up with the perfect Christmas gift is often a challenge, and when it comes to that perfect gift for dads – it seems like it is always a challenge. The process of pondering this dilemma is how my most recent client came to me.  Matt had seen my other paintings online and got the idea for making this year’s gift a memorable one.

Rather than getting something his dad may be able to use, Matt decided to go with something he definitely would cherish.  Digging back into the photo archives, Matt found this special shot of he and his father from over 20 years ago when Matt was about 9 years old.  Matt’s dad loved his boat and loved his times on this boat with family even more. 

As I have the opportunity to work with more clients, I am struck by the precious memories I am trusted to capture in a painting.  I always want people to love the paintings I do for them, but in cases like this painting for my client Matt, I also feel a responsibility to honor that trust.  I also love the picture and could immediately see why it is special to Matt and his father.

Since this is a portrait, my first goal was to make sure I captured the faces.  Beyond that, it was important to keep a little of the “old” look to the picture to maintain some of the charm while still brightening it a bit to bring out the details and the summer-day feeling.  In talking with Matt, the only other enhancements we wanted to make were to subdue the trees a bit to push them further into the background and of course drop the date stamp.  Finally, I wanted to balance the importance of being accurate to the photo while still having a touch of the paintbrush apparent to add a little something to the final piece that is more than the photo itself.

I delivered the painting to Matt this morning and am looking forward to hearing his father’s reaction!