My client wanted to surprise his wife with a portrait painting for their anniversary this past month. He emailed a favorite photo that had been taken of them relaxing on the patio with their doggies. He and his wife were both especially attached to Gunnar, their German Shepherd who recently passed away.
When viewing my emailed Work in Progress, my client told me he was in tears. So this is another of my very bittersweet portrait paintings. But you know, I was just thinking about it and realized that 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.
PS In the photo, the chaise lounge was covered with sheets because Gunnar and little Oscar got into mischief and had removed a lot of the stuffing from the cushions … the rascals! Not to worry ... I painted new cushions!
Friday night I hung the framed painting at the bottom of our stairs after Lisa went to bed. I listened as she walked down the stairway Saturday morning. She stopped near the bottom and said "Oh my goodness! It's beautiful!” A few tears of course, and hugs, but mostly just a happy sadness. She was so impressed with how lifelike the dogs were in the picture, and especially Gunnar. Like you could reach out and pet him through the glass.
This painting will keep his memory in our thoughts every day and will put many smiles on our faces.