Caroline & Annika

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“Caroline and Annika”. Oil on canvas. 30″ x 40″. Artist, Suzanne Lago Arthur.

I am happy to share with you my last painting of 2014, a double portrait commission that I have spent most of this past year working on. These two beautiful sisters, separated by 10 years in age, were an absolute pleasure to paint.

[Unfortunately due to being sick right before the commission was due, I did not get it professionally photographed. Please excuse the quality of my cell phone pictures for now.]

Detail of Caroline.


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Detail of Annika.


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Detail of Annika’s hands and dress.



Commissioning a Portrait

“Ben, Anna & Charlie”. Oil on canvas. 27″ x 38″. 2014. Private collection.

There are few things in life as artistically satisfying for me than to have the opportunity to create an heirloom quality portrait for a client. Perhaps it is the exhilaration of observing the client’s emotional reaction to the work that I find so rewarding. But I can’t help but feel that this is the way that I can best share my “gift” with others–by helping people honor and immortalize those they hold so dear.

I can create a pastel drawing or oil painting of your loved one or colleague starting at various price points. Below is an outline of my typical commission process:

  • Personal Consultation: Initial discussion to identify scope of work and client objectives.
  • Subject Observation: Meeting with subject (portrait sitter) to observe & better understand the personality and mannerisms of the individual. If possible, I will sketch and make initial studies from life.
  • Photo-shoot Preparation: Photo-shoot location & date identified along with attire and and other details.
  • Photo-shoot and Review: Photos are taken (for use as painting references), processed and reviewed with the client to identify candidates for the final painted portrait.
  • Painting/Delivery: Typically a year once the painting process begins depending upon the complexity and scope of the work. Note: A 50% deposit is required at the time of booking.

Please contact me directly for my 2017 Commission Prices.


“Ben, Anna & Charlie”

My latest portrait commission, Ben, Anna & Charlie.
My latest portrait commission, “Ben, Anna & Charlie”. Photograph by MooseNChick.

The painting above, “Ben, Anna & Charlie” has been a very special commission for me on many levels. The children (and their parents) are all close to my family. Anna was one of my first art students and the boys are both good friends of my son. I began this painting over a year ago and shortly upon starting it I lost my mother. I am grateful to my clients for being so supportive of my work and of me during that difficult transition. Working on their painting became very therapeutic and when I look at it now I see a lot of growth in me, both from a technical standpoint as well as emotionally. I would often catch myself smiling back at them as I painted each of their faces. And I am sure I will miss seeing them everyday in my studio now that it is finally going home.

I want to formally thank Stacy & Brian for allowing me the privilege of painting their beautiful children. Your family has been quite a blessing to me. Thank you!

Technique Tuesday: Walking Canes Ain’t Just for the Infirm

WIP photo of my current commission showcasing my sexy walking cane.
WIP photo of my current commission showcasing my sexy walking cane.

I stole this Technique Tuesday tip a couple years ago from master painter Richard Schmid who famously uses his walking cane as a mahl stick (to steady your hand in painting). I have even taken it with me to workshops and have had people laugh at me and say “I was looking for the old lady when I saw that”. To which I have answered while shaking my cane in their face, “He who paints like Richard Schmid can cast the first stone!”. Then I smash them over the head with it. See, it serves a dual purpose.

I also have another Mahl stick I use when traveling or copying at the National Gallery of Art. It is affordable, collapsible and very sturdy (made out of aluminum). Although don’t drop the threaded end on a hard concrete floor as I did, or you may have a problem putting it back together again. You can purchase it at most art supply stores. Here is a link to one.