A Custom Kids Portrait That Gets Me All Choked Up
Ok, so this post is WELLLL overdue. Every time someone asks about the art in our foyer whenever they catch a glimpse of it on Facebook or Instagram (like in this pic or this pic) I say something like “A good friend of mine made that portrait of our kids! I’ve been meaning to write a post about that – soon I hope!” Whelp, that day has finally come. Hold on tight, it’s gonna be a wild ride.
I actually got the painting over a year ago! It’s a pastel drawing done by our friend and neighbor Robin Olivier and she is SUCH A TALENT! It’s based on one of my favorite photos of the kids ever taken. Just a casual iPhone shot I got a couple of years ago of them laying in our bed and staring into each other’s eyes. #FEEEEEELINGS
You can see how she printed out the photo to guide her drawing on a nice big sheet of pastel paper in this progress shot below:
Sometimes I think kids portraits (or family portraits in general) can get kind of a bad rap, especially when you picture these giant formal oil paintings over the fireplace with people dressed up and posed in a big gilded frame. I think one of the things I love best about this portrait is that it feels like it’s just a casual moment in time. A sweet little ordinary sibling exchange that happened without any special outfits or hair-brushing or prompting (“hey little guy, why don’t you poke your sister in the mouth and make the other hand a little blurry! PERFECT, WE GOT THE SHOT!“).
The final size is 12 x 12″, which can slip right into the mat of a square 20 x 20″ Ribba frame from Ikea. It would also be really pretty in something a little fancier, like this 17.5″ gold frame from West Elm – or this version in nickel. You’d just need to get a mat cut to fit it with a 12 x 12″ opening (any framing shop should be able to do that for you pretty inexpensively).
Robin usually does her portraits locally but she also has an Etsy shop (if you’re looking for something similar to ours, her sibling portrait is two kids together). They take her days to do, and she can do other things like single person portraits, people looking at the camera, and more customized things (more kids, larger sizes, etc). She also does an amaaaazing pet portrait (she’s a fellow chihuahua owner).
I just can’t say enough about how much this piece of art means to me. I teared up when I first saw it. And then I got something in my eye again when it fit perfectly into the frame that we already had hanging in our foyer because I wanted to see it 500 times a day, every day (and that’s the perfect spot to get to ogle it all day long).
Someday I’ll be walking through this hallway and they’ll be giant teenagers, looking at colleges, and I’ll stare at their sweet little baby faces on the wall and cry at least ten buckets of tears because we blinked and they grew up. *SOB*
Yeesh, who knew this post would go from zero to sappy in three seconds? But while we’re on the topic of art that we love, here’s a quick list of some other artists whose prints (or even original paintings/drawings) hang in our home:
- Claire Elsaesser (we have this print of hers in our bedroom and I love this huge one for the beach)
- Vita Koby Ikina (we have an original painting of a Paymaster like this one)
- Samantha French (this print of hers also hangs in our bedroom)
- Teil Duncan (we just bought one of her figure prints and have an original painting in our foyer that’s kinda similar to this one)
- Emily Jeffords (this one hangs in our kitchen and one like this hangs in our dining room)
- Erin Gregory (a few months ago we bought one of her floral paintings for our office)
- The Wheatfield – aka Katie Daisy (we have this print in our daughter’s room and love it so much)
- HeloBirdie (I might regret sharing her with the world, but I’m obsessed! Her little original paintings are around $50! Such a steal! I just ordered two and can’t wait to get them and show you guys! I also love this one & this one)
- CatCoq (we have this print in our daughter’s room & this one, this one, & this one in our bonus room)
- Elizabeth Mayville (we ordered this cheeky bird-headed print for the beach house & I LOVE this cannonball & this still life, so they might be next)
Speaking of which, I’ve been asked a few times to do an “art tour” of the house (maybe on video? maybe just in pics?) to update you guys on everything we have and where we got it, how we framed it, what we like when it comes to art pairings and grids and galleries, etc. Does that sound like something you’d like to see? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram if so. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go fix the mascara that’s running all over my face and making me look like Marilyn Manson (I am wearing all black…).
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