Tag: bunny

Ruby’s Bunnies

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.

Patrick’s Bunny

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.

LuLu’s Bobo

I’ve painted many Jellycat bunnies, but the story attached to this little guy is particularly moving. He belongs to Boothe’s daughter Lulu, whose birth marked the end of a period of immense loss and sorrow for the family. Lulu’s “spunky, little wildflower spirit” reminds Boothe of Isaiah 61: “[He will] provide for those who grieve… bestow on them a crown of wildflowers instead of ashes.” She describes Lulu, who is almost five, as “feisty and hilarious and quite literally does things – EVERY thing – in her own remarkably funky fashion.” Bobo the bunny, originally called Bo, was chosen early on as the favorite from among a slew of Jellycat toys awaiting Lulu’s arrival, and has remained her “one true love.” Bobo has travelled to at least twenty states (including Hawaii!) at Lulu’s side and is often found dressed in doll clothes or Lulu’s own baby clothes. In this portrait, Bobo sports Lulu’s own monogrammed baby shoes! Boothe recently came upon Lulu rocking Bobo, singing to him and attempting to teach him his colors. “I wonder how long she’ll love him,” Boothe wrote me, “He’s been a precious reminder of the sweetness that Lulu is. In my own way, I’ll always cherish Bobo, too, which I think is why I so wanted this portrait to be done.”

Bunny/Nappy/Foo Foo

5″x7″ acrylic on canvas, 2013. Amy’s little girl is turning one this coming November, and as a birthday gift Amy decided to honor the stuffed bunny blanket that has brought her daughter so much comfort throughout her first year. The bunny is known alternately as “Bunny,” “Nappy” (due to his magical sleep-encouraging powers,) and “Foo Foo” (as in the pursuer of field mice, I assume.) The baby chews on his ears to fall asleep, and when she learned to crawl, she made her way to the nursery, pulled herself up at the crib, and reached through the slats to grab him! By my count this is the tenth pink bunny blanket-head” I’ve painted!

Brown Bunny

8×10 acrylic, 2013. Tara is expecting her first baby this May, and she’s fully immersed in setting up and decorating the little girl’s nursery. To complete the d├ęcor, Tara commissioned portraits of her own favorite childhood toy, a lamb, and her husband’s, this adorable brown rabbit. Because she had already chosen frames for the paintings, Tara requested that I forgo my usual stretched canvas format in favor of a sturdy, archival paper. I’ll be posting my portrait of Tara’s charmingly grumpy-looking lamb tomorrow, and I hope Tara will send me a photo of the finished nursery!

Peter Rabbit

6″x8″ acrylic on cardboard, 2013. This little Peter Rabbit from Eden Toys belonged to my husband when he was a child, and I have always considered it to be an absolutely perfect example of proportion and design in the realm of stuffed toys. Even though I’m somewhat desensitized to the charms of most stuffed animals these days, I still find this bunny to be completely adorable from every angle! I’ve even painted him twice… the first time was in 2009, when I was cobbling together my toy portrait business. Looking at the two portraits together, I’m struck by how my style has evolved over the course of nearly 400 paintings!

Kaci’s Bunny

8″x10″ acrylic, 2013. It’s a beautiful and rare thing when a child appreciates a gift in equal proportion to its significance! In this case, “appreciates” would be an understatement. Kaci’s mother Karen received this bunny blanket at her baby shower in 2003 from a dear, lifelong family friend. The bunny was placed in the crib and baby Kaci immediately became attached to it. Karen tells me that bunny is present in nearly every photograph of Kaci ever taken! The bunny is now so worn that any snuggling at all would cause it’s head to detach, so a backup “Bunny 2” was purchased to sleep with Kaci while Bunny sits close by on the nightstand. This portrait will be given to Kaci on her upcoming 10th birthday.

Vivi’s Bunny

8″x10″ acrylic on canvas, 2013. The devotion inspired by Jellycat bunnies is quite something! Children absolutely adore them. I’ve painted many a beloved Jellycat, and where there is one, there are often several. Kids wear them right out, so extras for rotation and replacement are essential! This particular bunny (and it’s three back-ups) is a special edition released by Anthropologie, with incredibly soft, heathery fur. Vivi’s mom, Casey, happened upon a pile of them while wandering around an Anthropologie while eleven months pregnant. She figured that since it was the year of the rabbit, a stuffed bunny would be a perfect gift for the new baby. Sure enough, Vivi takes Bunny everywhere and sleeps with him in a choke hold every single night. The four doppelgangers are rotated for even wear and to keep them “equally stinky and crusty,” as Casey wrote in her Babble blog. A few years ago I painted Casey’s own childhood favorite stuffed bear. If you’re not already familiar with Casey’s Moosh in Indy blog, check it out for extraordinary photographs and wonderful stories of her parenting journey.

Ella and Bunny

8″x10″ acrylic, 2012. I’m absolutely honored to have now made paintings as for all three of Susan’s children as gifts celebrating the births of their babies! For Susan’s first son, there was this vintage Snoopy blanket-head, followed by these two toys belonging to Susan’s daughter and her husband. And here we have another symbolic marriage portrait of another son and his wife’s beloved toys as they await the July birth of their child. “Ella” the elephant and Susan’s son were truly bonded when the toy brought him comfort through surgery on his bladder at the age of five. Although Ella remained by his side throughout childhood, Susan notes that he did leave her behind when he entered the Marine Corps! This wonderful stuffed bunny was Susan’s daughter-in-law’s very favorite bedtime toy as a child. Susan’s house is sure to be filled with excitement, drama, and laughter for the forseeable future — congratulations to her growing family!

Old and New Bunnies

8″x10″ acrylic, 2012.

Two generations, two beloved bunny blanket-heads! When Chelsea was little, there were several toys which earned the moniker “Lovie,” but this flat, funny-faced bunny was the last and best. She has had him since the age of three and he now resides safely in a cabinet next to the shoes Chelsea wore at her wedding. Her husband sometimes teases her about it, but she is quick to point out the Lovie has been around a lot longer than he has! When their son Bix was born, a family friend gave him a bunny blanket of his own in honor of Chelsea’s own cherished toy. Bix adores his bunny too, and so Chelsea thought it only natural that the two toys be immortalized side-by-side in a portrait! The blanket-head phenomenon seems to be fairly recent (and ubiquitous!), so I’m always excited to see a “vintage” blanket animal. (Here’s another one!) Chelsea won this custom painting in a giveaway kindly hosted by Mamatoga this spring.