Our relationship with time is fascinating. We celebrate it! As parents, we announce to the world the passage of time, the growth of our children, their birthdays, and the milestones of their lives. In late August and early September, every mom on social media posts back-to-school photos of their children. New babies have their photos taken and posted (usually by their mama) every month to show how much they’re growing — often on a blanket or with some other indication about how many months they’ve been alive.
Time is fleeting, though. We talk about how fast time goes by and “where did the time go” is on every parent’s lips as their child is about to graduate from high school or getting married. There’s really no way to stop the time from passing. It will pass whether we take photos or not, whether we write down the moments we love or not, and especially if we’re present or not.
Being present with our family requires focus and attention...and it often doesn’t natural. I’ve had to work at it. I feel like I’m only just starting to get a better handle on being present with my family and I already have two grown daughters. Fortunately, I get second chances to be present with my husband and my two younger daughters every day. A big part of why I started painting children was to celebrate my own children, their ages, stages, and blossoming personalities. Now I get to help other parents celebrate their children and grandchildren in watercolor.
When is a good time to commission a painting? If you wish you could freeze time or you long to relive a moment, that’s the first clue that you have a great moment to be captured in art. Here are some other great times you could hire an artist to paint for you:
Weddings - people can hire an artist to capture the emotions and feelings of that special day, much like a photographer would
Birthdays or a birthday party
Dance concerts where your child is performing
Music concerts where your child is performing
Everyday moments like going to the park, going to the beach, playing with friends, exploring nature
Here are some examples of moments I’ve recreated for the clients who have hired me to paint for them.
Capture an Everyday Moment
Recently, a client hired me to paint portraits of her grandchildren that she doesn’t get to see very often because they all live so far apart. We worked through selecting the photos that best captured their personalities and I’ve just completed the first piece. Here is an everyday moment she chose to have me paint her 18-month-old granddaughter named Harper. The main reason she wanted this photo recreated in watercolor was that she felt this picture portrays Harper’s bold personality.
Give a Memorable Birthday Gift
Finding great birthday gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person is a challenge. If you want them to remember their birthday gift, give them a piece of custom art! I shared the story of my client Marty recently, who wanted to really impress his wife with a unique gift that she would cherish. He found an older family photo of his four children and had me recreate it in watercolor for her special day. She was in love with it and he scored lots of points as the best husband ever.
Replay a Musical Moment
The young daughter of my client Colene has been playing the harp since she was only four and a half. She plays the harp beautifully. Colene wanted me to capture her tiny daughter with her first harp to commemorate a special harp camp experience. Colene loved the watercolor I painted for her so much that she wanted to share the idea with the other families. She invited me to attend the harp camp. I went and met with four harpist’s families, took photos, and then found out about each child before painting their individual custom watercolors. Many of these paintings (and prints of these paintings) were given as special gifts for Christmas for husbands and family members.
Celebrate a Family Pet
Kids and dogs form a bond that is memorable for life. The Brown family loves dogs, especially their yellow lab named Honey. Honey had been with them for 15 years and she was getting close to the end of her life. They knew that Honey wouldn’t be around too much longer, so mom Vanessa contacted me to paint a memory of her four daughters surrounding Honey. After Honey passed on, Vanessa presented the painting to her girls for Christmas and now the painting helps them to remember their beloved family dog. You can read more about their story here.
Honor Your Family
Blended families often go through a lot to make things work. My client Barbara chose to honor her newly blended family with a customized watercolor of her children and step-son in a photo that represented the two families coming together as one. She told me that when she saw her kids all laughing and playing at the lake, that was the moment she knew they would all be okay. She and her husband said they look at the painting now with happy, warm memories.
Delight in the Holidays
Holidays sometimes go faster than any other time of the year. We try to pack it all into the two months from Halloween to Christmas and often don’t stop to take a breath. One year I happened upon a little girl dressed in Mickey Mouse ears quietly watching all the kids in costume walk by at the elementary school’s annual Halloween parade. I took a picture and painted this watercolor. It made me think: if only we could pause and just watch for a minute instead of always rushing to the next thing. If you have an image from your holidays that you’d like to commission me to paint, let’s talk.
Enjoy the Beach
Children love the beach. They come alive there. So many of my clients have had me paint their children at the beach. Kids are happy there and they love exploring the ocean, the sand, and the waves. My client Chris told me that his wife loved Huntington Beach and for her birthday he wanted me to paint two watercolors of his young daughters. I was on my way to a vacation in Laguna Beach, so I packed up my painting supplies and painted while on vacation in the sun and sand. The images capture their individuality -- one is spunky and the other is introspective. I shared the process of creating these two paintings here and here.
Hiring an Artist to Paint
Whether you decide to capture an everyday moment or a moment that only comes once in a lifetime, choosing to commission an artist is a great way to celebrate the times in your life that have brought you joy. Want to know how to commission an artist, go here. Discover how much it costs to hire an artist in this post.
Feel free to reach out to me for more information or if you have a question you can’t find the answer to here on my site.