What makes me happy...

Some of you may remember my progress images as I painted this commissioned portrait in August for a woman who saved it until Christmas to give to her husband. (I never could have kept the secret that long!) She was so thoughtful and sent me a photo of him opening his painting. And this note:


I made it until Christmas morning with the help of my cousins. They kept the painting so I could not break down and give it to him early! These are pictures from Christmas morning. Thai was thrilled!

Happy New Year! When we visit San Antonio, we will stop in to meet you in person.
Thank you for making Christmas so special this year!

Best regards,
Cindy Hoang
Wow. Love that!

Now, remember this portrait from December? Three siblings commissioned it for their mother's Christmas. I got the wonderful email from Mary right after Christmas:

Hi Susan,
I can't even begin to tell you how much that painting means to my mother! She opened it up, took one long look and started to cry! Not only does she love it beyond words, she took the painting to her best friend's house today and is also getting it framed TODAY. Couldn't wait one minute to protect it. She spent quite some time marveling about the intricacy and detail of the painting -- noticing Tavy's exact hair shading, the precision of the collar, the tags. It's the best present anyone has ever given her in her whole life, she said! Wow! I was struck by how much she studied that painting, noticing details that I never would've, and how that painting pitted hair for hair against the actual Tavy, soared past every test. She just loves it. We can't thank you enough!!! Clearly,the care you took to really capture Tavy paid off.

This painting was the best part of our Christmas. I hope you found as much joy in your holiday!

Mary (for Theo, Theresa, too!)
It was so thoughtful of Cindy and Mary to send those notes, don't you think? I get so much pleasure in the painting of portraits- figuring out the puzzle of it all and trying to make ever-better paintings in the process. It adds SO much to the pleasure to know that the paintings will be enjoyed by those who commission them or those who receive them. I've gotten many emails and phone calls this year thanking me for my work. That makes me very happy.


Rose Welty said...

You make a great argument here for being a portraitist! I hope the new year is just as successful for you...

jan said...

Susan, your skills amaze me! there's so much life in your paintings.

Sheila said...

Hello Susan... just wanted to drop a note and say, "WOW!"

Art with Liz said...

Gosh Susan, I just had to smile when I saw the photo of Thai holding his portrait. You must have felt fantastic bring so much pleasure to another person. And ditto for Tavy's 'mom'. Fabulous.

Debbie Chavers said...

Great job! I really like the expression in the eyes of all the subjects.

Debbie Chavers

painterchum said...

that's great Susan! I can understand how happy it makes you to get this feedback. Very well done though I might add for both of the paintings. Hope you have a great 2009.

Pattie Wall said...

Thanks for posting those two lovely letters from Cindy and Mary. It makes the whole "love affair" worth while! You do awesome work and to ME the best payment are words like you received. That is what it's alll about! Way to go!

Valerie Jones said...

This makes it all worth it, Susan! Congratulations to you!

Barbara M. said...

Hi Susan,

What lovely letters. I love the picture of Thai opening his gift. That would make a great painting
too wouldn't it? He looks exactly like
his portrait. You are soooo good.

Take care,


Jennifer Bellinger said...

You have to be thrilled that your art brings so much happiness to people! Happy New Year, Susan!

"JeanneG" said...

What a wonderful painting and photo of him holding it. No doubt how he felt about it. The joy is just spilling from him.

The first of your videos I watched I almost had a heart attack when you threw on all that dark paint on the face. Then with each layer, I was even more scared. I don't have a clue how but you make it all work out in the finished product.