I don’t tend to do a lot of looking back as I’m usually too busy speeding forward… but before the first month of 2018 disappears, I decided to take a look back at all my house portraits of 2017 and pick out some star projects. Reflection is good and it really was quite a year. It was super hard to choose just a few from so many, but I wanted to share these stellar examples with you.
There are just two main categories: “The MOST ___________” which covers the most cliff hanging, the most elaborate, the most surprising and the most missed, to name a few. There were also a number of FIRSTS last year. My job is interesting enough as it is, but these firsts really kept things lively!
So here we go….
My FIRST Barn Commission
I have painted many barns in my day, but this is the first time I was commissioned to do so. This stunning relic of the past still stands on a farm in Tennessee and remains in the hands of the same family whose ancestors built it over 100 years ago. I recreated the cotton fields that used to cover these fields.
The MOST Elaborate Victorian
I found this painted lady tucked away in a quiet street in Brookline, MA. The current owners chose the colors and completed an amazingly detailed restoration project on this elegant subject. Hat’s off to them I say!
My FIRST Canoe Club Commission
But this is not some ordinary canoe or boat club. This is the famous Washington DC Canoe Club which is situated on the Potomac River in Georgetown DC. It has a fascinating history and is still a hive of activity today.
The MOST Historic Home
As can be seen written on the painting, this stone home is called the Joseph Mishler Home. Built circa 1794, it still stands today in a suburb of Denver, PA. A descendant of Mr. Mishler commissioned this project and we took it back in time to how it used to look when it proudly stood on open land that was mainly used as an orchard.
My FIRST UK Commission
Any fans of the popular UK TV show Upstairs, Downstairs, might recognize this elegant home in Belgravia, London, as it is where the show was filmed.
The MOST Hobbit-like Home
Some may disagree with my descriptive title — especially since the home is in Portland OR — but being that I am from New Zealand, I going to claim it anyway. Admittedly it was an artistic Hobbit with a passion for red accents….
The MOST Cliff Hanging Home
Aptly called, Edg-Clif, this home in Potosi MO might look precarious as it hangs over the cliff, but it is as solid as the day it was built over a 100 years ago. You can see the original rock and stone foundation was constructed right into the cliff. The balcony — which has a stunning view — and wooden part of the house was added later. The same family has owned this home and farm for generations and it is now Edg-Clif Winery and Farm. I was honored to be given a tour of the entire property last October and snapped this photo way down from the ravine to use for the portrait.
My FIRST Trailer Home Commission
It’s hard to believe this is a trailer home as it stands alone with the Joshua trees in a picturesque desert setting in California, withstanding the elements and providing a peaceful existence for its owners.
The MOST Surprising Find
I was busy selecting house portrait subjects in a historic — but seemingly normal — street in Waltham, MA, for my greater Boston area series, when I suddenly came upon this castle! Sure enough, it is called Lord’s Castle and the story behind it is that the builder of the castle which was completed in 1889, Rufus Lord, had married a German girl who grew up in a castle and in order to make her less homesick he built her this castle. Inside, each room was created to represent a different wing/section of his wife’s castle back home.
The FIRST Cafe Commission
This is a building in Ybor City, FL, called The Bunker, which served as a community hub decades ago before it eventually fell to ruin. Recently rehabbed and brought back to life, it once more fills this role as a bustling cafe and restaurant.
The MOST Religious Commission
Well this commission isn’t religious, but the subject certainly is. This is the spectacular Grace United Methodist Church in Dallas TX. I was commissioned by a client and parishioner of the Church, who understandably loves this building and all that it represents.
My FIRST Sod House
This is a historic sod home that still remains on a wide open plain in Philip, SD. It is now a museum.
The MOST Woodsy Home
This little cabin is nestled in the woods in Lake Tahoe and is a favorite escape for nearby city dealers.
The MOST Missed Homes
I hate to end on a sad note, but the homes you see here are no longer with us. They were torn down in 2017 for newer and perhaps grander structures. However their former owners wanted to have and keep their fond memories alive with these original paintings.
I hope you have enjoyed my tour of 2017 house portrait stars around the country.
Let me know if you would like to discuss an idea you have for a commissioned house portrait, whether it is the family home you grew up in or the home of a loved one for that very special gift.There is no better way to capture happy family memories than through an original hand crafted painting so you can be reminded of those happy times every single day.
I am indeed blessed to have such an enjoyable occupation and I would like to warmly thank you for your support and appreciation of original art. I wish you the very best for a happy and creative 2018!