Guest post by Deirdre M. Folley
Have you ever been at a loss when it comes time to choose a gift for your loved one?
Whether you're a gift-giving maven or gift-giving-challenged, I think the story of Micah's thoughtful First Anniversary gift will inspire you.
Newlyweds Micah and Megan had agreed that they would not exchange presents for their first year anniversary. John and I have certainly been in that boat! In a busy season (in this case, a baby on the way), it does take the pressure off to know that you won't disappoint your spouse if there's a mutual agreement that no gift is necessary nor expected.
But Micah had other schemes in mind.
"Megan's father is a great gift giver. He's always great about giving his wife and daughters flowers - always so on top of it. I know I cannot compete," Micah told John of the family he'd married into.
When they discussed exchanging gifts on their first anniversary, Megan agreed that Micah could give her flowers - just flowers.
"As I approached the end of the first year of marriage I wanted to give my wife something special. She loves flowers, especially ranunculus. Their rose-like blossoms have tissue-thin petals and come in a range of beautiful colors. The dilemma I faced is that these exquisite flowers fade quickly. Thus the idea was born to capture these flowers permanently." - Micah
So the commission that John received was to paint a small oil painting - one small enough to fit standing up on Megan's desk, the way a vase of flowers would be set - of her favorite kind of flower, the ranunculus.
"It was a fun occasion for me to have some beautiful, florist-sent blooms in the studio," says John, "since of course I wanted to work from life to capture these flowers with all their delicacy and liveliness." We ordered a selection of the blooms and John chose the best colors for his composition, narrowing down on just a few in order to fit their detail onto a demure 8"x6" canvas.
"Working with John on the idea was a delight and he captured their beauty and delicacy perfectly!" Micah told me, "My wife proudly displays her favorite flowers on our living room mantle for all to see and enjoy knowing they will always be in full bloom."
Of course, the final cleverness of Micah's commission is that the first wedding anniversary is traditionally observed as the Paper Anniversary; thus, the gift delivered on canvas (close enough to paper!) ties in doubly well in this case.
We were impressed with Micah's thoughtfulness in bringing this project to John, and delighted to see it come to fruition in time for a late Fall anniversary. Our best wishes to the newlyweds, now one year in!
If you're interested in commissioning your own piece, be sure to take a look at my commissions page.
If you were to plan a commissioned fine art gift this year, what would be the occasion?
It was a pleasure producing a portrait of this impressive home in Ann Arbor for a friend and his wife to give as a gift to his in-laws.
We heard from the patron that the process and product met and exceeded his and his wife's expectations and that the portrait was well-received -- always a pleasure to hear that the gift-giving went over well after putting the love into the process!
I used pen and ink and watercolor on paper for this portrait. Please take a look at my portraiture page if you're interested in learning more about your own house portrait commission!
Hello there, I'm John H. Folley, an oil painter in the Boston School tradition. Thanks for visiting the Beauty Advocacy Blog, where it's my job to help you become a more discerning art appreciator.
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