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Oil portraits


Long Days, Short Years

Callie Sanders, Age 1, Oil on canvas

Callie Sanders, Age 1, Oil on canvas

One of the things I hear most consistently from the moms I work with is how quickly their kids grow up. In fact, it’s the number one reason these moms commission me to paint a portrait of their child.

As one mom Kristen says, “The days seem long, but the years are short. Enjoy the fleeting moments while you can!”

These moms tell me how amazed they are to see their kids’ faces and bodies change in such a short period of time. As an artist, it’s fascinating for me to watch these kids grow up on social media, or when I re-visit a client to take pictures for their next child’s portrait.

It’s amazing how much their facial features have changed since I did their portrait.

Moms tell me it’s such a small window of time while their child still has that baby cuteness. You know what I mean; the soft skin, full cheeks, and that beautiful glow. Often times only a few years can dramatically change the appearance of a child!

Many tell me how relieved they are to have captured this special time in a portrait, and how they will always treasure it. It feels great knowing I can help these moms celebrate these fleeting years and help put their minds (and hearts!) at ease.

Moms, how have you noticed your children growing up? How have you seen their faces and bodies change?




The Most Precious Age

William, Age 3, Charcoal on Paper, Madison, Mississippi

William, Age 3, Charcoal on Paper, Madison, Mississippi

I get asked by moms all the time, “What’s the perfect age to do a portrait?”

While I’d love to an exact number down to the day and time, it really varies for each child. Generally though, between the ages of 3 and 4 hits that “perfect” spot.

Kids are not only so cute at this age, but they’re beginning to develop into grown children. They have hair (usually) and their features are taking shape. In other words, they look like how they’re going to look. I also find they understand what a portrait is and enjoy the process.

And they still have that baby cuteness – full cheeks, soft skin, as and a healthy dose of childhood wonder. I love how kids at this age already have so much personality. It’s really a joy to capture.

William's mom Lashlee told me she wanted to do these portraits because her kids were growing up so fast. She could literally see their faces and bodies changing every month. Lashlee couldn’t believe it had been three years already.

Childhood is fleeting. It’s such a short window of time before they become more independent, loose their teeth, and start dressing themselves.

What mom wouldn’t want to capture this precious time?




Charlie Harris, Age 8, Memphis, TN

Charlie Harris, Age 8, Memphis, TN

I met Claire and Cheyne Harris through one of my collectors. They commissioned me to paint their 8-year-old son, Charlie.


This was a really meaningful commission for Claire, because she'd recently lost her father. Having Charlie painted now was a special way of honoring her dad's legacy.


I thought Charlie was so cute when I met him. I took his pictures on a weirdly warm day over Christmas, and he told me about what he was asking for. It was mostly sports-related:)


He struck me as just a really sweet, good-natured boy. 


What was really cool about this commission was that I was on the news here in Waco, and I brought this portrait along. You can watch the segment here.


Charlie thought it was pretty cool he was on T.V.


Claire and Cheyne were fun and easy to work with, and I could tell how much they loved their son. It was as honor to


I asked Claire the greatest lesson that she's learned from motherhood, and she said, "Children are VERY smart and are always listening to you and watching you.  You will know this when your 8 year old tells you that he "has had a lot on his mind lately" 😂


"Therefore, you should live your life like you want your child to live his or hers. If you give them lots of love, time, and teach them humility they will internalize that and pass that down to their own families."


Amen to that!




What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about being a good mother?

Whitney Bricken, Age 3, Charcoal

Whitney Bricken, Age 3, Charcoal

Children grow up fast. One thing I hear consistently from moms is how quickly they see their kids' features changing. Before you know it, they're teenagers (yikes!)


There is only so much precious time.


There’s stuff that everyone says you “need” to do, but I’m talking about the kind of advice your grandmother gives.


Wisdom that stands the test of time.


So in honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve put together a list of the top 5 wise words of advice to help you be more present with your kids:

Take care of yourself, embrace any help that is offered and lastly, my Grandmother’s advice to me: “Children are life renewing, slow down and enjoy every moment.
— Sara Madasu, Memphis, TN
Stop and enjoy as many moments as you can with them.
— Micki Martin, Memphis, TN
Have fun and don’t be so hard on yourself.
— Lauren Keras, Memphis, TN
Try to find joy in every stage and embrace the constant change as best you can.
— Kristen Hill, Memphis, TN
When your child grows up, he or she won’t remember if the shelves were dusted. Your child will remember the experiences and feelings that accompany them. Make them good ones.
— Deede Sherman, Memphis, TN


Btw, these words and more are in my book, Lessons of Love, which would make the perfect gift for Mother’s Day!


So let’s hear it. What’s the best motherhood advice you’ve been given?


Leave a comment below.