Nomi Wagner Portrait Artist

Portrait Painting of a Couple on Vacation: A Surprise Anniversary Gift

by Nomi Wagner

Hi Nomi,
I would like you to paint a portrait of my husband and myself. We celebrate 50 years of marriage on Dec 26th and this would be a surprise gift for him.
Thank you,
Paula

Hi Paula,
So grateful that your reference photos are high resolution and I can see quite a bit of detail. This particular photo will inspire me to paint a beautiful anniversary portrait—wonderful expressions, very loving pose, and beautiful lighting. I’ll be able to paint your eyes more distinctly behind your sunglasses, referring to the other photos you’ve sent. And I can bring out the contrast in the background a little. Do you like the way I’ve cropped it? What part of China is that?

reference photo of couple in China - Nomi Wagner

Thanks Nomi,
I do like your cropping. Sorry that our glasses turn very dark outdoors. So appreciate your ability to paint our eyes. This photo was actually taken in the Tibet area of China at a Tibetan Monastery during their New Year in February, 2013. We were traveling with friends from the USA, who were living in Beijing. We learned a lot about the Tibetan people and their way of life.

Hi Paula,
I couldn't find much to paint in the hazy background of your photo, but I saw the name Shachong on one of the photos you sent and found this photo on Google of exactly the area where the photo of you was taken. I can make out the identical rivers. Would you be interested in my impressionistic rendition of this for the background of your portrait? I love that it will show some of the monastery and the snow covered mountains in the distance as well as the beautiful valley. To me, the whole portrait painting will make sense now and tell the story of where you were.

Shachong photo of Tibet

Hi Nomi,
I like your concept, but the Google photo was taken on a clear day and not in the winter. Nothing there is green in February. The snow on the distant mountains works even though it rarely snows where we were. The colors of the mountains and fields were mostly shades of brown when we were there.

Hi Paula,
I contacted the Tibetan photographer to tell him I was referencing his photograph for your painting. A more monochromatic background will be a nice foil for the two of you. You are the stars, after all! I’ll make the mountains and fields shades of brown and gold like the straw, the wall, and the monastery … the blues in the mountains will correspond to the blues in your jacket. Distant mountains are always blue because of atmospheric perspective, so that’s a good thing. There is snow at your feet. Do you remember any snow on the roof or around the monastery? Were the green trees bare? I'll tie it all together and make it harmonious and really beautiful, without taking away from the portrait of the two of you.

Hi Nomi,
I appreciate your attention to detail. There was probably snow in the shade at this monastery above us. No leaves on the trees. It was below freezing but the air is dry, so little snow. Your ideas sound good. The area is very open with only small villages near the beautiful but primitive monasteries. Thank you for all the thought you are putting into our portrait.

 Hi Nomi,
The paintings arrived today, well in time for framing. The portrait and the three additional prints for our children are fantastic!

 Hi Nomi,
My husband loved the painting, as did many of our friends. We held a re-affirmation of our wedding vows yesterday and took the framed portrait to the church. Our friends with whom we traveled in Tibet thought the painting was great. Said they saw more of the countryside from your painting than we did in reality!
Thanks so much for all of the work you have done on our painting,
Paula