9″x12 acrylic on board, 2013. This epic Mother’s Day portrait features the favorite childhood toys of five grown-up siblings. It will be given by Jennifer, whose yellow doll is shown here in a restored state… it is presently a faded and faceless shadow of its former self! One of Jennifer’s brothers carried the white dog with him everywhere. The blue bear was given to another brother when he was born, and the floppy lamb belonged to Jennifer’s sister. The green Baby Bop from the Barney show was the favorite of another sister, a huge fan of the program as a kid. I love the idea of each member of a family represented in a portrait by the object he or she treasures most!
8×10 acrylic, 2013. This grouchy stuffed sheep lifted the mood of my entire household during the process of making his portrait. There’s something about his of-kilter lean and comically stunned expression that just made anyone passing by my easel snort with laughter or at least smile! This toy was the childhood favorite of Tara, who is expecting her first baby this May. The painting will hang in the baby’s nursery alongside my portrait of Tara’s husband’s own stuffed bunny. incorporating paintings of parents’ beloved toys is a super charming idea for nursery décor!
This little stuffed lamb is mostly called “Doggy” by six-year-old Hero, who pulls it around the house on a pink leash. Hero’s mother Erynn has learned that, as a result, Doggy’s white wool can be used to gauge of the cleanliness of the floors… who knew there was so much dirt on those tiles? This is the third of three portraits commissioned by Erynn her daughters’ favorite toys. You can see Cora’s babydoll here, and click here to see Philippa’s stuffed sloth!
8″x10″ acrylic, 2012. When Aliza was little, her habit of carrying her bear with her arm around his neck caused all the neck stuffing to bunch up into his head. Aliza reasoned that smart people probobly had bigger heads, so she named her bear “Professor Teddy.” She picked him out herself as a very small child and he remained close to Aliza’s side through many childhood adventures and even through college. Professor Teddy now keeps Aliza’s bed warm in her old room at her mother’s house. This stuffed lamb, which belongs to Aliza’s younger sister, Zoe, once played “Mary Had a Little Lamb” when wound up, but now only pings out a random note here and there! Lamby was given to Zoe when she was a baby by a long-time family friend and has been her favorite ever since. Aliza commissioned this portrait of their two toys together as a gift for Zoe’s upcoming birthday.
8″x10″ acrylic, 2011. I encounter so many adorable stuffed toys in my business that I’m, perhaps, slightly more immune to their charms than the average Joe. But this sheep… I covet this sheep. It’s a Jellycat which has clearly been loved ardently. Heidi tells me that to her daughter Caroline, Lammy is, like the Velveteen Rabbit, “real.” Lammy is subject to all kinds of “hairstyles” concocted by three-year-old Caroline, which mostly involve flower clips being attached all over her fur. Caroline is quite upset that she won’t be able to bring Lammy to preschool on due to her being larger than a back pack (take note parents!) This painting is one of two that Heidi commissioned for her children of their favorite things. The other is a group portrait of a stuffed dog and some classic books!
9″x12″ acrylic, 2011. Mary is giving her two boys, now 21 one and 23, portraits of their favorite childhood toys for Christmas, both of which are stuffed/doll versions of 90’s Nickelodeon characters. This Rugrat Tommy Pickles doll’s sheep costume was taken from another toy by one of the kids and was henceforth his permanent attire. The heart on the front of the wooly outfit is embroidered with the words “I love ewe.” For more Nickelodeon bizarro-cuteness, checkout my other portrait for the guys, which immortalizes their stuffed Catdog.
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