11″x14″ acrylic on canvas, 2014. This painting was made specifically for my Brookside Museum exhibit “Storied Playthings.” The antique tin toy comes from the Museum’s collection of Saratoga County artifacts and is on display right alongside its portrait! Most of the paintings in the show can be seen next to their “models,” which is a thrilling opportunity for me and I’m so grateful to Brookside for facilitating it. I hope you’ll stop in before the exhibit closes at the end of October!
All Posts 11″x14″ acrylic and ink on paper, 2014. Illustration for Shmaltz Brewing for use as a component of a mural depicting the craft beer brewing process.
11″x14″ acrylic and ink on paper, 2014. Illustration for Shmaltz Brewing for use as a component of a mural depicting the craft beer brewing process.
9″x12″ acrylic, 2013.
So, you know what’s intimidating? Making a painting for your favorite painter. When our friend Matt commissioned me to paint his oldest son Roan’s Monkey as a gift for his third birthday, I was asked to avoid mentioning it or posting anything about it where Roan’s mom, Spring, might see it. “A surprise for all!” he wrote. Spring just happens to be one of the most awe-inspiring artists I know, and her own paintings of toys are Dutch Master level amazing. I was definitely challenged to bring my A-game! It’s always exciting for me when a pattern of some sort finds its way into the composition and I absolutely love the Art Nouveau wallpaper behind the monkey. Matt tells me that this toy has been Roan’s “main jam” since birth but is beginning to fall out of favor, so he figured it would be a good idea to honor it with a portrait. I’ll be interested to see if baby Calder adopts the monkey as Roan outgrows his interest in it!
8″x10″ acrylic on canvas, 2013.
These two bunny blankets were given to Ruby at birth, but rabbits do tend to multiply and she ultimately ended up with six of them before ultimately giving them all up a few weeks ago. Ruby is almost three, and the family had been preparing Ruby for quite a while for the moment when the bunnies would be taken away around Christmastime by Santa Claus’ liaison “Sparkles the Elf” (on the shelf.) Ruby’s parents assured her that the toys would be cleaned up and passed on to a new baby to comfort. You see, “cleaned up” is the operative term here. Ruby slept with all six bunnies every night and sucked on the tips of their ears to soothe herself. The situation became unhygienic, to say the least! Although the planned bunny surrender was to take place around Ruby’s birthday in December, a nasty red mark on Ruby’s face resulting from sleeping against their dirty ears caused Ruby herself to abruptly give them up several weeks ago. She looked in the mirror and said, “No more bunnies Mommy. Have daddy call Santa to come and get them.” Sparkles arrived that night and left a new teddy bear and some candy in the bunnies’ place and they have not been mentioned since! Ruby’s mom, Marla, commissioned this painting of the two original bunnies to hang in Ruby’s new bedroom (the family has just moved) in honor of the very important toys. It will be given as a Christmas gift along with a note from Santa assuring Ruby that the bunnies are safe, happy, and watching over her from the North Pole.
5″x7″ acrylic, 2013.
It makes me so happy when past customers come back to me with new projects! Over the summer I painted a portrait of Sharon’s family as Fisher-Price Little People. Now that her son Patrick is about to turn six, Sharon suspects that his deep attachment to his bunny blanket might be on the wane. “I’d like to remember how much he loves to sleep with him now and worries when he is missing at bedtime,” says Sharon. I hope that this portrait will properly honor what a significant place he holds in Patrick’s young life! This is a particularly well-desined bunny blanket, in my opinion… I love that it’s plush on one side and smooth cotton on the other, and that it has defined “hands” and “feet” while still retaining its floppy blanket-ness.