When I moved to Clearwater in 1999 I had a wish to make a classic painted portrait of my new city’s mayor (from 1999-2005). That never materialized—until now. 18 years later, his son, Brian Aungst, Jr. contacted me to paint both of his parents!
Having met them at political gatherings as mayor and wife I had an inkling of what a nice portrait I could make. However, it was to be a surprise (which I also love to do). Because of that, we couldn’t photograph them ourselves for my painting references. I had to use scavenged photos from old Christmas cards and family snapshots. That seemed appropriate since it was to be an oil portrait to celebrate their many years together. I wanted to portray them in a timeless way. Youthful, yet wise, so to speak.
When I had finished, Brian Jr. came over to my studio to pick it up. At that time he gave me a wonderful acknowledgment. He said, “I knew it was going to be good, but not this good!”
Then he and his wife presented it to his parents. Afterwards, he called and told me:
“We totally surprised them. We went to their house and set it up in the foyer on an easel with a cloth covering the painting. Then we brought them out. By this time they figured there was a painting there. They were taken aback. It was a very special moment. They were really overwhelmed. They thought it was amazing. It is definitely hanging with pride in their house.”
Then he wrote a testimonial for me to post on Google (but since I can’t seem to do that, I’ll put it here):
“Jessica perfectly captured the love and the life my Mother and Father have shared for more than 40 years. Our family is incredibly grateful for her talent and her ability to encapsulate their love over the years from when they met in high school, when they served together when my Dad was Mayor, and in their life together as grandparents. Her portrait preserves the essence of their wonderful life and their great love for eternity and we cannot thank her enough.”
Here is a terrific article about Brian and Karen Aungst, “Mr. and Mrs. Clearwater”:
So now you can see how the granting of my first wish became so much better than I ever imagined. What a team my mayor and his wife make! And then to be called on to supply a classic painted portrait honoring the both of them together—what a pleasure!
Be sure to let me know when you want an oil portrait painted of someone in your family!
Related posts from the portrait painter:
- Oil Portrait Honoring Donors
- How Do You Surprise a Public Personality
- Formal Oil Portrait for 60th Wedding Anniversary
- Retirement Present of a Custom Painted Portrait