Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Artsy Fartsy

I have to admit...I'm kind of an art snob. I really don't have any artwork in my home that isn't original. It's not so much that I'm all about spending a ton of money on art, it's just that I really don't care for reproductions. I'd much rather have original photographs of my kids on the wall than a reproduction of someone's work that I bought at Pier One.

That being said, the majority of really expensive artwork we have was done by my husband's cousin, Julie Oriet ...BEFORE she got so popular that we couldn't afford her anymore!!!

We also have a few things that we inherited and love very much. Our most cherished piece of art, however, is the portrait we have of our kids. I left a comment on Happy Housewife's blog about her portrait questions and I could not believe the number of emails I got from readers wanting to know about my China man!

Here's the deal: I have a friend in town whose husband is a VP at Uttermost. As part of his job he often travels to China to meet with artisans and visit factories, etc. During one of his trips he met a man in China who does portraits from photos. Now, there are many websites you can find that offer this same service. I'm here to tell you...this guy is the best. His portraits are amazing. He is truly talented. My friend, Susan, collects your photos. You tell her how you want the portrait done. For instance, I gave her this photo:

Along with a few others to emphasize hair style, color, etc. She sent the photo to her guy in China with the measurements of the painting I wanted and several months later I received this:

It's an unbelievably beautiful likeness. The details are incredible. I really wanted to capture their true selves, which was why I didn't send a picture of both of them smiling and "happy". They are happy children, but they are also inquisitive and observant and the LOVE the ocean. This picture was taken just as we reached the end of the beach path and they saw the water. They knew they were in their "picture taking clothes" and couldn't just run into the water. It's a moment I'll never forget and I'm so blessed that I'll always have this portrait to remind me.

Here are a few close ups:

BabyGirl was wearing the most adorable dress by Catimini. You can even see the detail of the appliqued flowers on the skirt...

I surprised Dr. Daddy with the portrait two Christmases ago. He didn't know what to think. At first, he thought it was just a photo that I had put on canvas. Then he took a closer look and realized it was a true oil painting. He was in tears, people.

The best part? The price. It literally cost me more to have the thing stretched and framed than it did to have it painted. This $10,000 for a portrait stuff is not even an option now that I've seen the work I can get for so much less. We're talking 90% less.

Sooooo, per your request my friend Susan has given me her info to pass on to you. The website is pretty rudimentary. Not tons of samples of her work. I'm sure if you want more she can send you some. We have a friend who has three kids. She had two of them painted by a very expensive local the thousands of dollars each. For the third child she did the Memories In Oil from China. NO LIE...the third child's portrait is as beautiful if not more so than the first two. He's that good.

So, if you're interested here's the has Susan's contact info.
Memories In Oil. ***UPDATE*** I'm told the email on the website isn't working. Try this one:

Whatever you do...don't Google "Memories in Oil". There's some joker in LA who has a site by the same name who also has a guy in China. Not nearly as good.

I hope that answers your questions!


Blue-Eyed Bride said...

this is gorgeous. what a great treasure for your home!

i'm the same way about art. we don't have really expensive pieces, but it's all original. a friend of ours painted a gorgeous canvas for over our mantle and it's my favorite thing in our house. it's all OURS!

i love Uttermost! half of our home accessories came from Uttermost-- we go to Market in ATL. lamps, mirrors, clocks. love it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info! I'm very new at the portrait stuff...wondering what the "stretching" entails? Thank you. Sarah

Kappa Prep said...

I am right there with you on being an art snob. I prefer to have a few small, very nice pieces then loads of Thomas Kincaid!

Speaking of child portraits, by mother had min done when I was four and it was one of the best things she has ever invested in. I am off to check out your site!

ms. mindless said...

i completely agree with you about random prints! i HATE fake art i am not at a stage in my life where i can afford the kind of art that i like, so i decorate with pictures that i've taken myself. i think that it make a home look so much nicer than a print of a famous piece from the art section of target.

The Rauths said...

oh my gosh, that is stunning. i'm going to have on of our wedding portraits done for hubby for xmas. great idea. thanks! =)

Muffy said...

WOW!!!!! This is INCREDIBLE! What a GORGEOUS portrait. I bet it looks just LOVELY in your home. How very special!

Angelica Joy said...

How much was it?

linda said...

Wow, that came out beautiful!!!!!

Ned said...

I am so glad you posted about this I thought I had your e-mail and couldn't find it and I was very interested in this information!

Kelly said...

OMG - What a gorg pic! Thank you for sharing!! I can't wait to use him! Now if only I could get my boys to sit still for a pic! :)

Legallyblondemel said...

Stunning! I love the candid expressions on their dear little faces. And thanks for passing along the artist's contact information.

Tres Poshe Preppy said...

Amazing! I love it! I'm going to tell all my friends. The quality is superb!

Betsey said...

You are the best! Thank you!
Love, love, love your blog.

Angelica Joy said...

Dear Mrs Sippycup:-

I'm unsure if your getting any of my email or comments but I couldn't find an email for you so apologies if this is not where I'm meant to write this.

I just wanted to let you know that I've read your entire blog from start to present and totally enjoyed it. My name is Angelica and I am a turning 26 year old who have no children, rent a home and not married as yet so I'm totally surprised that I loved your blog so much!

I am new to the blogging thing and have tried in the past to be interested in reading a blog but since I was always for things that I thought would interest me...which didn't, so I'm so glad that I stumbled upon yours.

Your the very first blog I read! Whilst my blog does not have readers I think I summed up what I love about your blog in one of my post so feel free to check it out. I love your blog because it's so down to earth, I think I find it a bit wishy washy and to be honest a bit BS at times when people write about how glorious it is to be a Mom at all times so I love your down to earth nature and your truthful tell it as it is LoL.

Looking forward to more of your blog posts.


PS: I was also wondering, I'm located in Australia but does this lady able to get me one of these paintings made as well? I'm unsure how it all works and I tried to send you a "test" comment but it didn't seem to work :( Thanks very much for any info.

Preppy Mama said...

Beautiful!! I love it and I want one too!!

Bridget said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you!! Your portrait is beautiful and the quailty is fabulous. I am thinking in a couple of years investing in an oil portrait as I have a 21 month old now and one on the way. I would love to do what you did and have one oil with both children. Thank you again for sharing!!

SnappyCasualGifts said...

Your painting is beautiful! Thank you for posting the information about where to have a painting done. I'm kind of like you about art. I either want an original or if I have something that isn't I want it numbered and signed. I just really don't like going into other people's houses and seeing the same picture hanging on their walls that I have hanging on mine. Maybe that sounds snobby.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I have to do this! What an awesome way to display your favorite picture. Your kids are GORGEOUS!