I do house portraits. People commission me to paint portraits of their houses or their friends’ or family’s houses. I think these portraits help people tap into a bit of nostalgia about where they’ve lived, where they’ve been happy living. Houses are solid symbols of comfort, family, memories.
This particular house portrait is actually of the second house my husband and I lived in, while our children were very young. We only lived there 3 years, and moved from there 9 years ago. I began working on this piece right before we moved, set it aside after we moved, dabbled with it about 4 years ago, and then did not touch it again until a couple of weeks ago, when I decided it was time I finally got around to finishing it.
Originally it was just going to be a straight house portrait, but I added our children in at the ages they were when we lived there. The addition personalizes the piece for me and gives me the nostalgic feeling that I suppose other people are going for when they commission me to paint their house portrait. It becomes an illustration, depicting the time when the boys were little, evoking so many memories, a little bittersweet, but nice to visit.