Nomi Wagner Portrait Artist

Are you looking for a super nice artist who will listen carefully to your needs?

Would you like a dazzling portrait drawing or painting, more beautiful than you ever imagined? A fine art portrait that will capture your memories and bring you comfort?

You've come to the right place. I am here to help!

Just email your favorite photos to inspire me.

You and I will plan your portrait together and keep closely in touch as I create your custom drawing or painting.

This is YOUR portrait and I want you to LOVE it.

Any questions? Would you like to chat? Phone me or leave a message at 805-985-3579. Or you can email me at

To reserve a space on my schedule, please contact me NOW.

I look forward to hearing from you.


I’m sorry, but despite many requests, I cannot create portraits combining people who have passed away with babies or children they never met.

Depending on the complexity, it takes me days, usually weeks, to draw and paint any portrait commission. That leaves no time to combine various dissimilar photos of people into a brand-new family grouping.

However ... if you email reference photos with adults, children, babies, or pets already in compatible poses, I might be able to merge the photos into a convincing portrait source. I want to create a beautiful and believable portrait for you, so please send high resolution photos in which I can see faces, bodies and extremities accurately posed. Thank you

Dear Nomi,
Your commitment and skill in painting my three "babies" in the same light as I see them is so greatly appreciated. You are more than an artist, you put heart into your work and it shows. Many are asking who the artist is and I am proud to share your work with the world!!
Palm Beach
PS  My boyfriend really had fun working with you on my surprise Christmas gift.

Portrait painting of pet dogs




Nomi’s art has been featured on CBS, ABC, CNN, The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal Weekend, and in The Washington Post and LA Times, as well as art books and magazines. Her clients have included McDonald's Corporation, Gensler Architecture, ARCO, many celebrities, and hundreds of loyal families whose lives she has lovingly documented. Nomi’s donations of her art have successfully raised thousands at silent auctions for worthy causes all over the country. Her painting was selected for the 2017 California Strawberry Festival Poster.

Nomi with Strawberry poster


Her mother named her Naomi but always called her Nomi. The nickname caught on with her Van Nuys High friends and sorority sisters at UC Berkeley. From then on … Nomi it was.

Receiving her B.S. in Dental Hygiene at USC, Nomi practiced for 18 years. That's why she's good at painting smiles! Then the love of photography took over her life. She switched careers in 1979 and became a professional portrait photographer with studios in Westwood and then Santa Monica.

But wait, there's more! Since childhood, Nomi held a secret desire to become a portrait artist. In her spare time, she had been studying classic portrait drawing and art history at UCLA.

In 1992, the plot thickened as Nomi’s husband Gerry—he'd been a Xerox engineer on early computers—introduced her to the brand new fields of digital painting and graphics technology. Nomi was freaked out by computers, but instantly had a vision for taking her portrait career in an entirely new direction.

If she could master this graphics technology—add it to her years of photography experience, posing and lighting —and combine it with her passion for drawing and painting—she could pull everything together and develop a totally new art form.                 

She was excited, but it was a steep learning curve. It took several years and lots of trial, error, and Calm pills to develop her personal technique. At UCLA, Nomi added classes in digital graphics (very difficult in those early days of technology). At the California Art Institute she studied traditional life drawing and watercolor painting (very fun!)

Gerry cashed in an insurance policy and bought one of the first large format printers ($35,000 then—$4,000 now!) so he could print Nomi's art. Nomi's beloved colleague and friend, the late Mary Martinuzzi Jaworski, purchased the photography business in 1998 and ran it successfully for 20 years. Mary made it possible for Nomi to make the jump from portrait photographer to full time portrait artist.

Nomi happily paints every day and is recognized as a pioneer in the use of fine art technology. She is proud to be a Corel Painter® Master Elite.


One enchanted evening in 1981 ... Nomi spotted Gerry across a crowded room, at a country western dance lesson.

They live at lovely Mandalay Beach in Oxnard, California and have a combined five children and ten grandchildren.

Aside from beautifully printing Nomi’s portraits, Gerry spends as much time as possible playing golf and pickleball.

When not painting, Nomi is either working out or doing yoga on Zoom, reading for book club, walking on the beach, or trying to figure out a crossword puzzle.

Nomi and Gerry

Would you like a lovely portrait, painted by Nomi and printed by Gerry? Contact Nomi here.


I'm often asked to paint portraits of my clients’ family members who have passed away. I am honored to be trusted with their personal memories and grateful that I am able to do this work.

As a young child, I realized the preciousness of family with the deaths of my father, a G.I. in World War II, and my beloved grandparents shortly after the war.

I missed them terribly, but in those days people didn't talk to children about their feelings or grief. So I spent hours poring over family photo albums, trying to recapture what I had lost. For my 10th birthday I asked for a Brownie Hawkeye camera.

From then on I took photos of family and friends at every occasion ... still do. I want everyone to have their personal memories recorded.

Those early family losses were pivotal and led me into my careers of portrait photography and now portrait painting.

My goal is for you to enjoy and be comforted by the display of elegant and personally meaningful portraiture in your home.

I’m often asked which is my favorite portrait. It is this black&white watercolor painting I did of my father and me in front of our home in Los Angeles. I found the tiny, faded but sharp, 1941 photo in one of our albums.

Portrait of a father and daughter

To me, all my portraits are bittersweet. They all reflect special moments in time that we want to remember ... moments that celebrate life and mark the best of times ... moments that tug at our hearts and remind us of how both sad and wondrous it is to love.

Doing this work is never easy for me, but very fulfilling. I feel both the joy and pain of my clients. They put their trust in me and I have an immense responsibility to capture not only the beauty I see, but also the character of my subjects and the emotion of that exact moment in time.

I’m so blessed to have found this challenging work that I love. Read how my father's World War II experience influenced my life and career path.


To read about Nomi's winning entry and how she creates her art, enjoy her Blog post: Digital Art Rocks!

To read more about Nomi and her artwork, visit her fun and informative Blog

She looks forward to hearing from you, so don't hesitate to Contact her

Like to see how Nomi paints? Here's a Video ...