A gift from a mom

photo of subject

Ranch House

The houses I am commissioned to paint are often quite special,  historic to some degree and do catch your eye in the first place,  full of detail and character as they sometimes are. And I have done a McMansion or two which I am not unproud of, much as we debate this style and what it means.  But one of my favorite exercises which I am nearly done with is shown here, a modest brick ranch house in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Recently when I was showing my work at I Made it! For the Holidays at Bakery Square – someone said “Oh I wish I liked my house well enough to have one done by you!”. And I do know what she meant.

But I love that this young couple’s mother who commissioned me to paint this house portrait as a Christmas gift, realized that a home that contains love and warmth is worth celebrating and memorializing. It’s really not about the square feet,  curb appeal, or historic charm. It’s not about the house of our dreams. It’s about the lives that take place here and now in the place we live now, showing appreciation and love for the people within.

Shelter and home is a great thing to have, whether owned or rented, built of brick or wood or stone. A ranch, or a four square, art and crafts bungalow or a trailer, a tudor, colonial, midcentury modern, apartment  or a Victorian pile.  All places where people live and the list could go on… tent cities, shelter made of cast offs.

It’s interesting what paths I learn about and think about with something as simple as a house portrait! More examples and pricing here.




I say anyone with a roof over their head- owned or rented or trailer is doing well!



House Portraits

Do real artists paint house portraits?
This artist does. See more and learn about pricing
I can either visit your home to sketch and photograph it,
or I can work from your photographs. Here are some examples of my house portraits:
I sometimes like to paint a house at dusk when the lights come on inside. This is the house my cousin and her family lived in for several happy years. They are planning to build a zero energy home and  they wanted to have a portrait of the home they loved so much. The new owner also loved the house portrait and they purchased a high resolution digital print.
I met the owner and saw this house in the summer but felt it would work well as a winter portrait. The owners collect house portraits of all the places they have lived. They bid on the chance to have me paint a house portrait of their home at a fundraiser for Fox Chapel Crew Club.
This was a going away present from one family to another. I am guessing the parents and children had some great memories together in each other’s homes.


This was my most recent house portrait. The young children of the family were seated on kitchen stools waiting to see the painting of their home. Their mom opened the cardboard portfolio while I watched and it was such a pleasure to see their faces light up with pleasure when they saw it!?I work in many different ways and I am comfortable with the mix of work. I recently enjoyed this piece in the NY Times  about Wayne Thiebaud who has worked in many areas of both applied and fine arts even if most people know him for only his paintings of pastries.


One part of the long article which gets at what I mean is this…”Mr. Thiebaud’s original aim was to be a commercial artist, a field he deeply respects. (“I still paint as if an art director is looking over my shoulder,” he said.) Over the years, he has worked a sign painter, a theatrical production designer, an art director, a poster designer, a fashion typographer and illustrator (his subjects included lipstick and shoes), a comic strip artist, a cartoonist for the Rexall Drug Company in Los Angeles and, fleetingly, as a teenage “in-betweener” at Walt Disney Studios filling in the figures of Dopey, Pluto and Jiminy Cricket.”