RESTORATION

I recently discovered just how much I enjoy restoring treasured images of family members.   I am excited to offer this as a new service in my business.  In September 2008 a women came up to me and pulled a small wallet sized photo from her wallet.  “Can you do anything with this”  she ask almost apologetically, “this is a photo of me with my girls, I have had it is my wallet for 13 years.  I looked at the discolored, faded, orange spotted photo of years gone by and ask if I couldn’t create a portrait of her with her daughters now.  “No she replied, we want this photo”.  I can do it, I told her, and I took her tiny treasured  photo with me.

Tiny treasure -faded, discolored, cracks and orange spots

Weeks later I called Joanne to see a 16×20 full sized proof of the restored portrait.

She was delighted and she ordered three 16×20 portrait canvases were ordered – one

for her and for each of her girls. Joanne flew to New York to deliver her

Christmas gifts her daughters in person.

There was great excitement and tears at the unveiling of the portrait.

It was the treasure of her family she knew it would be.

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George saw my work while displayed at the Athletic club in town.  He decided to commission

a portrait of his daughter and her year old daughter – both of whom he adores.

After seeing the beauty of this portrait, he wanted a portrait of his wife.  She had not

yet consented to have her portrait created at the time I had Christmas dinner in their home.

At the end of the evening, however, Barb said to me, “I don’t have any good image from

our wedding 22 years ago.  Can you do something with some of the images I do have?”

I left with their album and the one 8×10 they had.

After careful scrutiny, I selected the above image because I loved

Barb’s expression and beauty.  George looked handsome as well.

The image was challenging as most restorations are

This is the final image

It was mid January when I called George to view the image on my computer.  I suggested that if a woman chose

to have a wedding portrait as her special portrait after 22 years of marriage – perhaps it would be a great Valentine’s Day gift for her.

George agreed and added that he had proposed to Barb on Valentine’s Day.  I love it when I get it right!  He then told

me of his plan to gather friends at a favorite restaurant on Valentine’s Day and at the appropriate time he would have it

presented   to her.  It was a  perfect plan.  I had the portrait printed and framed and ready for its debut.

I was in New York for this Holiday but I checked in when I returned.  The tears had streamed.

They were happy and so was I.

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Not all restorations are from old photos

Taken with a cell phone

This image was taken with a cell phone when Alice traveled to visit her mom.  Although the image quality was very poor,

Alice loved her mom’s expression and decided it was an image she would like to have corrected, enhanced and preserved.

I loved the idea of creating a special portrait of Alice’s mom.

No doubt each of the siblings would want such a treasure also.

Recent Posts

Commissioned Oil Painted Portraits – 1

 I have not posted for more than 2 months. My previous weekly postings fell away. I will do better. One reason for my absence is the amount of effort and focus I was directing to the series of  commissioned portraits I’ve been working on, as you will begin to see here.  I hope to do better and to keep you more up to date with my work. This is quite a colorful group of oil paintings.

Girl with Floral Vines – Oil Paint on Linen Panel, 12×16, by Winifred Whitfield

 

 The styles of my paintings are quite varied.  I allow the person, the image to dictate the ultimate outcome. The painting thus evolves intuitively.  I am often surprised by the journey and the outcome. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been given free rein in creating these portraits. No direction was given. This allows me to be at my most creative. The inspiration for the floral vine came from floral elements in the families marble table

 

 

 

Girl with Colorful Sky, 12×16 oil painting by Winifred Whitfield

 

I enjoy this rich and colorful sky.  It was breezy when I photographed this young lady. At times her hair was whipping all about her face.  I ask that she just relax and let it happen.  There is always the perfect moment and perfect movement, hence the floating wisp of her hair helping to bring this painting to life. There was not a hint of a sunset –  in fact, yet it appeared in the painting.

 

 

 

12×16 Oil Painting on Panel, ” Little Boy with Hand in His Hair” by Winifred Whitfield

 

 

This is the most colorful oil portrait I’ve ever painted. The family loves intense vivid color.  I thought it would please them and it did.  Freehand painting a patterned background was a bit scary but I love patterns and felt confident I could do it. I am pleased. It’s pretty amazing that with all the color and pattern in the background, your eyes still go right to his eyes.

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