A Wedding Portrait for the Sutherlands

A Wedding Portrait for the Sutherlands

Eric Sutherland first contacted me after he saw the wedding portrait I had made for my cousin Windy and her husband Scott. He decided to commission a similar wedding portrait to surprise his wife Kara for their 8th wedding anniversary.  What a great guy!

Next, I asked him to send me their wedding photos so that I could choose from them the composition which I liked the most. This is one of my favorite parts of the process: the privilege of searching through all of the happy photos from their special day to decide on which one I think will make a beautiful portrait.  

I especially love photos where the couples are looking at each other; sharing an embrace or in this case, a kiss.  I think it makes for a beautiful, emotionally charged piece of art: 

After the selection, I made the picture black and white to give Eric an idea of what it would look like when made with charcoal on canvas:

Once Eric gave his approval, I got to work. We kept in touch every couple of weeks to check in and decide on when I would deliver their piece - I prefer to personally deliver so that I can see their first reactions, another of my favorite parts of the process. 

 As their anniversary approached, we decided on a delivery date of Sunday October 9th, two days before they were to celebrate.  This date also worked out perfectly for me because I planned to attend my grandparents Birthday party in Rio Vista that afternoon.  So that morning, I sent him a little sneak peek photo of the portrait in my backseat:

Another reason why the 3'x4' foot canvas size is currently my favorite: it is the largest canvas size I can still safely fit into the backseat of a car!

Another reason why the 3'x4' foot canvas size is currently my favorite: it is the largest canvas size I can still safely fit into the backseat of a car!

But alas, on my journey from Granite Bay to Livermore, a flat tire held me up just outside of Stockton.  

Luckily, my parents were on their way to a winery nearby in Manteca with my sister and her husband so they swung by (thank you to the pin drop location feature the iPhone, you saved me that day). 

In my naïveté, I didn’t even realize I had a flat tire kit hiding in the truck of my Prius.  Nor do I know the first thing about using it.  However, I am happy to report that I asked a ton of questions while I watched my father and brother in law replace it, and I am about 90% sure I could switch it out by myself next time.  Yay for learning new things...  

Now, with a bright yellow spare tire firmly attached to my car, my rescue crew advised me to take it slow, warning me against the lackluster integrity of spare tires. I decided against continuing to Livermore to deliver the portrait.

Instead, Eric was very helpful in arranging for me to drop off the portrait nearby with his mother-in-law, Gail.  Therefore, I was able to make it to the birthday party on time in Rio Vista, my Grandpa was celebrating 90 years, after all! 

Then on Tuesday, the day of their 8th wedding anniversary, Gail drove down and kept the portrait in her backseat until I arrived in Livermore to give it to them in person.  And boy were they happy to see it!  Kara was pleasantly surprised and confessed that she had an inkling that something was up when Eric asked her for all of their wedding photo CD's two months prior. 

The whole family seemed very excited to receive it.  Their daughter, Katerina was able to pick out her Mom and Dad from the portrait right away and seemed quite taken with it! I even love how their dog snuck into the photo too! 

And here is a close up of the finished portrait: 

I hope you enjoyed learning about my creative process to commemorate a wedding anniversary in such a unique way!  


If you are interested in a portrait you can email me:


I would be happy to start the process with you. 

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