Gift giving is an art. 

To some people, finding the perfect gift comes naturally. For others, it takes practice. This same thing can be said of painting. Some people just have a knack for it, while others turn to professional artists to make that perfect gift. 

Yet, whether or not you are a natural gift-giver, we all have to buy a gift sometime.

What do you think about when you need to buy a gift? One of the first things is probably the recipient. After all, they are the person it's all about.  Do you think about what kinds of things that person loves? Do you try to remember their favorite colors or their favorite animals? Do they have a pet that they love to spoil or a dream car they love but could never afford? Do they collect things?

But oh! What do you buy for the person who has everything? That person is the hardest, especially when you love them. Parents are often in this category since parents have given you everything your whole life, and may appear to have everything they need.

Gift-giving can be quite tricky, but it's important to remember that giving is not about needs, but about doing something to express how you feel about a person.

Yes, this is an art, and just as producing beautiful artwork takes time, thinking of the perfect gift is no minimal task either.

Consider, though, an absolutely unique gift. It's something that says you really care. It is something which used to only belong to royalty, but today is available for the masses.

What's the best gift? The portrait.



A portrait is an image of a person, usually the top half, focusing on the face. A portrait can portray a whole-body image if you prefer and is not limited to reality. Again, look at my work. One of my most popular oil painting is a portrait is of a young man in painted blue.


Expressionist Oil Painting

Today, you don't have to be a king or queen to have a portrait made of you, and you don't even have to sit in the same position for hours. Today, you can give a portrait as a gift without ever telling the recipient ahead of time. Just send me a high-resolution photo, and I will turn it into an inspired oil painting.


Surfer, cowgirl, pensive. Portraiture can be set up in many scenarios.


I am an expressionist oil painter. Oil painting is my media and portraits are my specialties. I love to paint people and animals and to complete the picture, all I need a photograph.


Who is the next person you will need a gift for and are struggling with the perfect present? Is it your best friend? Your mother? Your spouse? Picture that person's face when you give them a flat rectangle, all wrapped up and tied with a bow. Your face is glowing because you are so excited to have found such a personal, thoughtful gift. Your loved one tears the wrapping paper off and looks. Then, they see the present is a loving, artistic interpretation of their face.

You might say, "I love you so much, you are a gift to me, and that was the inspiration for this gift." Or, you may say something else. Or you may say nothing. You might just let the gift sink in and wait for the "thank you so much," and the smile that follows.


You can see what I mean by browsing My Work.

Here is an example. 

From this photo on the left, I created a 30x22 oil painting on canvas.

People love to have artwork displayed in their homes because art is always thoughtful and personal. The artwork starts conversations. While it is easy to give an impersonal gift such as a candle or a notebook, I would love the opportunity to help you give something beautiful. This artwork will be something that can go anywhere, from a bedroom to a foyer or a rec room.

I invite you to find a picture of your loved one and send it on over to me. It generally takes me about two weeks to do an oil painting of a portrait. There is a field on my custom order form where you can indicate a deadline. This indication will help me know when you need your gift so that the special occasion does not pass you by empty-handed.

Once you receive the portrait, it will be up to you on how to frame it. A simple black frame always looks good, but many prefer not to frame the painting. It’s up to you. I encourage you to think about the recipient's home so you can match their décor. Write a thoughtful note to pair with the portrait or be prepared to say something explaining why you wanted to give this gift.

Gift giving is an art, but with my portraits, this doesn't have to be so difficult anymore! Custom art is always a touching choice.

Contact me to commission a portrait of your liking.


January 31, 2022 — Ane Howard