Monday, June 15, 2009

Housewarming

As a housewarming gift to my parents, I commissioned Anne Harwell over at Annechovie to paint my parents' new home. Custom art is always a great personal gift, but this time it felt particularly appropriate given that my mother has a painting of each one of her previous homes (several of which were painted by my maternal grandmother, an amateur artist herself who was highly skilled at watercolors). A few weeks ago, I sent over to Anne this photograph of my parents' home:

On Friday the finished product arrived at my house. In truth, my feeble attempt at reproducing the painting (this is a photograph of the painting...scanning was a disaster) really doesn't capture its lovely detail and colors, but it will give you an idea of how great a job Anne did. On Sunday, I presented the piece to my parents and they were absolutely thrilled. Thanks so much, Anne, for helping me come up with the perfect housewarming gift! When our new house gets finished, I'm definitely going to get you to paint it for me.

One of the most exciting discovers I've made since stumbling into the blogosphere is the many wonderful artists that I've been able to connect with directly. The world wide web allows the average person an unprecedented amount of access to talent, be it local or international, and the opportunity to purchase unique and beautiful items and works of art at wholesale prices. This greater accessibility of both art and design is truly exciting and signals a democratization of style, which was long overdue in my book. While I would never suggest that interior designers and decorators are unnecessary (quite to the contrary, in fact), I don't believe you should have to hire one just to purchase a piece of furniture, a yard of fabric or a work of art.

{Climbing off my soapbox.} In any case, if you aren't familiar with Anne's work, I highly suggest checking out both her blog and her
Etsy store, which features some of her non-custom work. I particularly love her Chair Silhouette Note cards ($16.50/set of 8), which are pretty enough to frame as art on their own:

In addition to houses and some majorly cool chairs, Anne will paint portraits (including dog portraits), landscapes and just about anything else.

14 comments:

Quotidian Grace said...

And it is really beautiful, too! Just love it!!

annechovie said...

You were a joy to work with, Averill! Thank you for the very kind post and mention!!

Things That Inspire said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful present! Annechovie is such a talent.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Averill: What a wonderful, wonderful gift for your parents. You gave me a great idea for my parents too! I love Anne's work & she is such a talented artist and a terrific blogger. Always thoughtful and kind. Great job as always Averill!

Christy said...

Oh I love her painting of your parents' house - she captured it beautifully. I hope to either commission her one day or to buy one her or her dads' landscape paintings...they're to die for.

(and I am so in agreement with you re: it's crap when company's only sell to the trade!!)

Sanity Fair said...

HOW LOVELY this turned out! Of course it did - Anne did it.

Style Redux 2 said...

Anne-What a great gift for your parents-Anne is a wonderful artist, a wonderful blogger, and a wonderful person.

Kristina with a K said...

God bless the Internet. I have found so many talented people through my little blogging adventures. The painting looks fantastic! And I'll take all 4 chairs please! I'm a sucker for silhouettes.

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

that is such a clever, thoughtful gift!! great idea - your parents will love it!
xox

www.froufroufashionista.blogspot.com

Kellie ~ Ada and Darcy said...

Amazing artwork... Anne is amazing i also have some of her art.

Liz said...

Fab idea, and it turned out gorgeous! I"m definitely going to keep this idea tucked away - I have to ask, was it affordable? You can speak in terms of $ signs ($, $$, $$$), of course. :)

Averill said...

Liz: For custom artwork I would say that it's quite affordable. I spent over $100 but under $300, which is a pricepoint that I would only spend on immediate family/best friends. I would also imagine that Anne could work with you on budget (maybe scale down the size, do a sketch instead of a painting, etc.).

Maple said...

So pretty!! You had me at "dog portraits"- I think Hank is long due for a painting!

Sarah Klassen said...

Wonderful! *Also, I have tagged you to come up with 6 uninteresting things that you love! I just posted mine up if you would like to see / I can't wait to see your picks~

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