Free standard shipping on all orders over $100 in the US

Your cart

Your cart is empty

A Portrait of Love and Legacy: Painting My Father-in-Law's Likeness

As an artist, my time in Italy has been filled with countless inspirational moments and experiences. Living in a country that breathes art and history has deepened my appreciation for the power of creativity and its ability to connect people across generations. Among the many meaningful projects I've undertaken during my stay, one stands out as particularly special: painting a realistic portrait of my father-in-law.

It came about one day when he stopped by the studio to see what I was up to and at the time I was working on a very loose/experimental portrait. Then he asked if maybe I would paint him.  I shrugged and said ok, I'll try.  

Initially, I was both excited and apprehensive about the prospect of capturing my father-in-law's likeness on canvas. As much as I wanted to create a beautiful tribute to him, I couldn't help but doubt my ability to do justice to his image. In an attempt to manage expectations and give myself space to work through the challenges, I decided to keep the project a secret. However, within a few days, the secret had spread as I found myself seeking feedback and guidance from others.

In Italy, art is not just a pastime or a profession; it is a fundamental part of the nation's identity. Everywhere you look, from the ancient ruins to the Renaissance masterpieces, you are reminded of the enduring legacy of Italian artistry. For me, painting my father-in-law's portrait was not only a way to honor him as an individual but also to pay tribute to his generation's role in rebuilding Italy after the devastation of World War II.

After at least five intense sessions and some thoughtful feedback from my sister-in-law, I finally achieved the result I had been striving for. The portrait captured my father-in-law's likeness with stunning accuracy, his skin tones so lifelike that they seemed to pop off the canvas. With a sense of accomplishment and pride, I took the finished painting to a local frame shop, where I selected an exquisite traditional frame adorned with real gold leaf.

Meanwhile one day, I realized that the secret was already out.  He knew about the portrait, because I told too many people.  And, LOL, I didn't realize that he had friends who view my stories on Facebook (ooops!).  Oh well, I guess all the talk was a form of affection and excitement and I learned to never underestimate the social media prowess of the older generations. 

Anyway, I wrapped the painting in a beautiful textured gold wrapping paper and surprised him with the portrait. He knew I was planning something, but I don't think he was prepared for how professionally done the portrait was, especially with the beautiful traditional frame.

Seeing the portrait hanging proudly in my father-in-law's living room reminds me of the joy and appreciation as he gazed upon his own likeness is a testament to the power of art to connect people and preserve memories. In that moment, I felt a deep sense of fulfillment, knowing that I had created something that would be treasured by our family for generations to come.

Painting my father-in-law's portrait was more than just an artistic challenge; it was a profound reminder of the importance of family, heritage, and the enduring impact of art. Through this experience, I gained a deeper understanding of the role that creativity plays in bringing people together and preserving the stories and legacies that shape our lives.

As I continue my journey as an artist, I will carry the lessons and memories of this experience with me, always striving to create works that unite, inspire, and celebrate the beauty of the human spirit.

If you would like a custom portrait of your loved ones, please inquire here

Previous post
Next post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published