Here’s a Fabulous (and Personal!) Holiday Gift Idea

What parent doesn't love the idea of commissioning a painting of their child? Something to enjoy at home, give as a gift to grandparents, and keep forever as a family treasure…

But there's the cost. And in financial times like these, when we're all watching our holiday spending, this sort of gift might seem out of reach. (And those less-expensive, but tacky-looking, digital "paintings" that are available online don't quite cut it.)

But artist Dare Johnson Wenzler of Lincoln Park Studio has created a unique art form that results in a painting that will be adored by you and your loved ones. Take a look at the painting Dare created from a photo of my son, Matt, and our dog, Charlie. It is hanging in our living room and I just love it.

Lincoln Park Studio is Dare (painter) and Mark (photographer)
Wenzler. They are a husband-and-wife team and they live with their young
daughter in Washington D.C.’s historic Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Dare received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist
University and did graduate work in graphic design at Texas
A&M - Commerce. Her work is exhibited at galleries and other venues
throughout the D.C. metro area.

The paintings start with a photograph that she crops and adjusts
and then transfers to stretched canvas. The canvas is then overpainted/overdrawn by hand, in layers.

A variety of media is used, including
digital, acrylic paint, oil stick, oil pastels, dry pastel,
carbon pencil and colored pencil. The finished painting is coated with a
UV-resistant spray varnish.

Pricing depends on painting sizes, which are customized based on
the image a customer sends and are not necessarily standard. To give
you an idea of the cost, an 11 x 14 painting is $110, a 20 x 26 is $210, and a 30 x 40
is $440. Shipping charges are additional.

To get started, the client e-mails one or more images. Dare makes a recommendation regarding which one(s)
would be best to use. She'll explain how she would digitally alter the image. (Usually this just
involves cropp
ing, but she's been known to lighten/darken an
image or to pull objects out of a photo, etc.) She'll give size and
pricing options.
The painting takes about two weeks to complete.

“The paintings are like the photograph they are based
off of in that they capture a moment in time," says Dare. "But the
they're warmer, hazier,
lovelier and somehow more 'real' than the photo. The paintings are more
like how you might have experienced the moment if you'd been there. and
they are also more like the way you might remember the moment

These portraits are "an opportunity for 'regular' people to
commission a painted portrait without spending a fortune," says Dare. "The portraits
are normally large, 2' x 3' and up, and make quite showstopping
paintings for just a few hundred dollars.”

If you'd like to commission a painting for the holidays, the deadline is Dec. 8. For Valentine's Day, the deadline is Jan. 26.

And here's a special offer for Parent Talk Today readers only: Mention that you saw this post, and you'll receive a 10% discount on your portrait.

For more information and to contact Dare, visit Lincoln Park Studio.


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4 Responses to “Here’s a Fabulous (and Personal!) Holiday Gift Idea”

  1. Debbie G. says:

    What a great idea! Perfect for our home…or for dad’s office (He’s so hard to shop for!)
    This is unique and reasonably priced given that it is custom, commissioned artwork!
    Love this! Thanks for letting us know about it.

  2. Kathy Sena says:

    Debbie, thanks for the kind words. I do think the price is very fair and reasonable for custom artwork. And you can even get a 10% discount through the blog!
    Happy holidays!

  3. We had a similar “concept” painting done maybe fifteen ago of our son and his dog. Everyone notices it and comments…but more importantly, it reminds us our son’s youth, our love for the dog, and our family. You will be SO happy you did this…if you do.

  4. Kathy Sena says:

    How cool that you had a similar painting of your son and his dog! I can already tell that this will be a very special painting for us, and that it will only become more special as the years go by.