Tag: giveaway

Puppy Love

8″x10″ acrylic, 2013. Becky was the lucky winner in a custom portrait giveaway hosted by Casey of the wonderful blog Moosh In Indy and Babble a couple of months ago. This 1970’s Knickerbocker Toys pup was purchased with Becky’s own money in a department store when she was in first grade, and has been her “security blanket” and confidant ever since. He looks quite Snoopy-esque, but was probably not a licensed Peanuts product. As a child, Becky dried her tears on his ears, and he later proved to be a sympathetic listener to her tales of teen angst. After her mother taught her to sew, Becky made him a little night shirt. She considered having him wear for the painting, but wanted to showcase the red and yellow shirt that drew her to him originally. After patiently enduring sporadic periods of storage, Puppy Love now holds a place of honor upon the bed in Becky’s guest room.
I posted a photo of this portrait on FaceBook earlier today, and immediately heard from a friend that she had had the same exact stuffed dog growing up and felt equally as passionate about it. She regaled me at length with stories of desperate searches for him whenever he was lost and of pushing him in a little stroller alongside her friends and their babydolls. It’s fascinating to hear about such a cheerfully innocuous stuffed toy inspiring so much devotion!

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.

Brooks Brothers Bear

8″x10″ acrylic, 2012. Natasha’s two-and-a-half year old son Nate has a penchant for argyle sweater vests, so it’s only natural that he adores this dapper Brooks Brothers bear. The two have been inseparable ever since Nate’s aunt gave him the bear, which Nate named “Todd,” in 2010. The Brooks Brothers company tells me that they call this spiffy bear “Brooksy,” and he’s offered as a seasonal item. A significant portion of the profits go to their partners at the Make-a-Wish foundation. Natasha won this custom portrait as part of a massive giveaway hosted by blogger Jessica Gottlieb in celebration of reaching 20,000 followers on Twitter back in September!

Baby Lion

8″x10″ acrylic, 2011. Just before the holidays I had the pleasure and honor of being included in a wonderful giveaway bonanza hosted by Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks. In a moment of expansive generosity, Karen concocted the Twelve Days of Chookooloonks, in which each day a reader recieved some manner of artistic prize. My custom portraits were featured on the fourth day of Chookooloonks, and Karen included a photo of her daughter Alex’s beloved Baby Lion. As far as she can recall, Baby Lion was a gift at Alex’s baby shower, and has been Alex’s favorite since before she could walk. His mane has been loved down into a matted helmet at this point… He travels everywhere with the family and sleeps with eight-year-old Alex every night. “When Alex’s alarm goes off,” Karen writes, “if she decides to crawl in bed with us for an early-morning snuggle before hitting the showers, invariably Baby Lion crawls in bed with us too.” I love to paint lions, and it was a joy to spend time contemplating this little guy’s unique expression and attitute!


8″x10″ acrylic, 2011. Recently the wonderful Saratoga Mama blog, which provides info and discourse relevant to my area (near Saratoga Springs, NY) and my current position in life (mama,) was kind enough to host a toy portrait giveaway! I was thrilled when the winner, Becky, let me know that her 6-year-old daughter’s beloved toy is a stuffed giraffe — one of my very favorite motifs! This adorable Gund giraffe was hanging out in Calli’s crib when she first arrived, just waiting for her to notice him and fall in love. This she did, and he has been at her side through thick and thin ever since. After accidentally leaving Longly at Calli’s grandmother’s house, it became clear to Becky that there needed to be a back-up giraffe, just in case. Longly #2 now sits on a shelf in Calli’s room, and he occasionally comes down to play. (If you follow this site at all, you may have a prediction about how that situation will turn out!)


11″x14″ acrylic, 2011. In July, the website Sixty Second Parent was kind enough to host a custom toy portrait giveaway. The recipient of the portrait was Stephanie, whose three-year-old absolutely adores this stuffed sea turtle. While vacationing in Hawaii last winter, the family bought a book called “Limu the Sea Turtle” at a Costco. Shortly after, the people who delivered rental baby furniture to their vacation home gave this hand-made turtle to Stephanie’s daughter as a wecome gift. She immediately named it Limu (Hawiian for seaweed or algae!) after her new favorite book. They have been inseparable ever since — she even took Limu and the book to preschool to show her classmates! Limu is special to Stephanie because he will always remind her of that beautiful vacation and happy time in the family’s life.

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8″x10″ acrylic, 2010. The Boston Red Sox patch on Bo-Bo’s face hides a scar, but also differentiates him from his “twin,” an identical bear also called Bo-Bo. Both bears are loved equally by Ben, who accidentally burned this Bo-Bo’s face on a lightbulb! The second Bo-Bo was purchased in case of his getting lost, and soon enough the first Bo-Bo did go missing. He was found six months later hidden amongst other stuffed animals at the local Marshall’s! You can read much more about these bears at Ben’s mother Jill’s fabulous blog, where she is also currently hosting a Custom Toy Portrait giveaway!

Retro Firetruck

8″x10″ acrylic, 2010. This awesome firetruck was purchased by Jon and Sarah as inspiration for the nursery decor for their soon-to-be-born second son. Sarah was the winner of the recent toy portrait giveaway on www.designmom.com, and this painting is one of two that made up that prize (check in tomorrow to see the other one!)


5″x7″ acrylic, 2010. Stuffed cow Moo-moos has been loved into a permanent floppy-headed expression of contentment. He belongs to Sarah’s four-year-old daughter, who carries him by his neck and rubs one of his ear under her nose when she sucks her finger. This portrait is one of two won by Sarah in the recent Design Mom giveaway. Sarah intends to give the paintings to her children for thier bedrooms when they move into their new house next month!

Bunny Rabbit

8″x10″ acrylic, 2010. A million thanks to Melissa at www.suburbanbliss.net“>www.suburbanbliss.com for hosting the custom toy portrait giveaway that resulted in this painting! There were an amazing 448 comments/entries, and almost all of them wrote a brief description of a quirky, beloved toy that deserves to be imortalized. I wish I could paint them all! This bunny belongs to the son of winner Elizabeth — he is called, of course, Bunny Rabbit. His slightly bemused posture and expression were a delight to paint, and I found myself choosing a palette which evokes one of my favorite artists, Wayne Thiebaud.