You may have noticed a little button on my sidebar that looks like this.
That ad appeared after Enzie Shahmiri of Enzie Shahmiri Portraits and Fine Art contacted me about working out an exchange of services. Enzie is a portrait artist. She creates amazing works of art with oil paints and a blank canvas, and as someone who can’t even draw a stick figure that is recognizable, I am in awe of her talent. Her work is exquisite; just take a look around her gallery.
Here is a little bit more about her. I grabbed this from the bio on her website.
Enzie Shahmiri specializes in commissioned portraits and figurative paintings.
Her paintings have been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibits in California and are in private collections in the USA, Europe and the Middle East.
Enzie’s work ranges from traditional oil portraits to Orientalist style figurative pieces using a Classical Old Master’s painting technique. Her work has been published on numerous occasions and has been featured in two books. She is a member of the Portrait Society of America and many other Fine Art Organizations.
Enzie’s Philosophy: All cultures nurture myths and fantasies, with qualities absent in one’s own culture. Sometimes welcomed, sometimes shunned we always need to remember that the “others” of some are the “us” of others. Whether recollections of beauty or evocations of evil, cultural myths and fantasies lend themselves to images, which enable artists such as myself, to create a bridge between societies and a new appreciation for that which is different.
I have lived abroad for many years and have traveled extensively though Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The impact of this wanderlust can be seen in my love for portraits of people representing all corners of the world. Historic architectural settings and different period designs are both elements I like to use to embellish the settings in which I place the portrait sitters. For me a portrait has to serve more than one purpose, it has to capture the essence of the sitter, hold the viewers interest by providing a short, intriguing narrative and be decorative through the use of rich colors.
Now, let me back up and express to you how much I love and adore portraits of my kids. I dutifully took each one to Sears every 3 months for their first year of life and then annually after that to get the obligatory studio pictures taken. Those now reside in a photo album that I keep out for our enjoyment.
Then when they were 18 months old, I took each one to a professional photographer to have a portrait done on artboard. Those hang over the mantle in our family room. Each was done by a different photographer and was framed to suit the individual portrait. I absolutely adore them.
Then when they were five or six, I took them again, and got an even bigger portrait done. They hang over the couch in our formal living room. (R is only 3 and hasn’t had one done yet.) They were also done by separate photographers, and I love the individuality of each one.
I figured the next professional portrait I did would be of the whole family, once all the kids get their adult teeth or something. I’d love to have one taken outside some day, either in Maine or at the Jersey shore.
Then Enzie appeared, offering to paint one of my children’s portrait. An oil painting of my kids is something I’ve always wanted but never thought I would have. When I had to choose one of my children for her to paint, I immediately chose my son. He’s the oldest, and it’s his turn. Hopefully when the older ones get to be about his age, I will be able to have something similar done for them.
I sent Enzie a few pictures, and she chose the one that she thought was the most conducive to turning into an oil painting.
She sent me periodic links to her blog where she chronicled the process of painting a vignette of my son. (Take the time to click on that link — it shows his portrait in several stages of production — VERY cool.)
It was an amazing process to watch. In the original photo he held a stick. At first Enzie removed it entirely, and then she decided the portrait was in need of something. She emailed me and asked me if he likes baseball. DOES MY SON LIKE BASEBALL??? He lives for baseball. So she painted a baseball bat where the stick had been. A week or so ago I got an email saying she was done. I anxiously clicked over to her site for the final product and I saw this.
Yesterday it arrived in the mail. I am utterly enchanted with this portrait and Enzie’s ability to capture my son in oil paint. Beyond that, Enzie has turned into a faithful reader of my blog and a Twitter friend. She is delightful.
When my son arrived home from school, I eagerly showed him the portrait. He had enjoyed seeing its progress online. When he saw it, a smile spread across his face, and he asked if he could hang it in his room. I snorted and said decisively, “Er, no.”
I am not sure yet where it will hang but it will be somewhere prominent and it will certainly be cherished forever. After I have it framed and hung, I will take a picture and post it.
Thank you, Enzie! You are a brilliant artist and a sweet friend!