The Oil Painting of My Daughter

Jan 17

One of my favorite paintings in my own personal collection is of my daughter, Natalia, who was 5 at the time by artist, Alain Picard, the best I know for portrait paintings. Trained as a professional illustrator, Alain naturally grew into painting portraits after illustrating for magazines, books, ad agencies and corporations, saying that, “As a “people person”, portraits have always captivated me and I love the opportunity to connect with humanity through my art.” Adding that, “There is just something so magical and transportive about capturing the living breathing essence of a person on canvas or paper, and know that this moment will endure for generations.”

Alain shared a little bit about his process with this precious piece of Natalia.

“Painting this portrait of Natalia was a genuine honor for me. Raquel and her family gave me the opportunity to create this at a fairly early point in my career. She trusted me to create a portrait of her most precious possession, her daughter. As I began to collaborate with Raquel, it was wonderful because she has a very refined sense of aesthetic and an intrinsic sense for elegance. Natalia was quite young and petit at this point, and Raquel had a beautiful miniature chair that we felt would be the perfect context for the portrait. I remember rearranging the furniture in her home in order to take advantage of the pattern of the carpet, the angle of the chair and the quiet tone of the wall in relief. Raquel also selected a gorgeous dress and tiara for Natalia to wear for the portrait. This made designing the pose and shapes for the portrait an absolute joy.  I had always been struck by John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, sitting back in a chair with her beautiful gown and gaze. This painting provided inspiration to me for the portrait of Natalia.”

“My wife, Mirjam and I, run the business together and she helped photograph Natalia with me during our photo session on this portrait. After we photographed Natalia in the chair, I went to work designing the portrait through a series of sketches. After approval, I set to work painting with oil on linen using my sketches and photographs as reference. When the painting was developed, I invited them to see it, and provide me with feedback for finishing the portrait with final touches. It was a very successful creative collaboration. Natalia is such a beautiful girl; it was such a privilege to capture her childhood portrait in a way that still resonates today, and will continue for years to come through this painted treasure. It’s a real joy.”

In an answer to how he captures someone’s real beauty, Alain says, “I consider it my unique purpose to reveal beauty through the artwork that I create. Great writers arrange and edit the story to captivate the reader and take them somewhere. As a painter, I arrange and edit the light, shapes, tones, and colors in such a way to captivate the viewer with something that is authentic, true, and beautiful.’

I attest. And it’s truly wonderful to own such a special piece of art that can grace the walls of my home, and continue down the generations of my family. If you haven’t done it yet, I recommend having a portrait done of one of your children, for your home, as they grow up so fast and to capture such a moment in time is a true gift.

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