I’ve done a lot of really fun jobs – it turns out that a lot of the photographs people have that they want turned into oil paintings are beautiful fascinating photos with rich stories built in. I try to honor that when reimagining them as paintings. I also often ask the commissioner to bring me or show me where it will hang – I think when commissioning a painting, it’s ok to design them with their future home in mind. Whether this means incorporating some of the home design elements into the painting with color or texture or choosing a frame that suits the décor, I think it makes me more attentive to the details while completing the piece.
I’ve done a lot of wedding photos, travel shots, and pets-as-royalty pieces. My favorite pieces have tended to be historical. A woman once brought me a black and white picture of a very cleverly dressed woman in 1943, perched atop a lookout point in Banff, wearing white kitten heels, a black dress, a white fur snug, and black sunglasses. She was impossibly polished and poised. The woman who brought me the picture was the granddaughter of the subject of the photograph and told me she didn’t know the woman at all as anything besides a grandmother. She was having the portrait painted to hang in her home as reminder that we are to people who- and whatever we reveal ourselves to be. We are more in control of how we are received than we often acknowledge. The painting now hangs in the granddaughter’s closet, the last thing she sees as she leaves to take on the day – to be whomever she wants people to believe her to be.