House Portraits

The perfect gift for someone who has everything!

A good friend wanted to give a special gift to her husband for Christmas and asked me to paint a watercolour of their cottage in Eastern Ontario, which - upon retirement - they call "home" for 6 months a year. For inspiration, I had used my own photos taken during previous visits to their lake-house, though I slightly changed the angle. He was immensely pleased with the surprise present!

This was one of the most interesting commissions I had the honour to work on. The clients were looking for a reconstruction sketch of a previous family home in the Georgian Bay area. The house still exists (photo: Google maps) though its looks are highly changed due to the removal of the previous decorated porch and the blocking of one of the entrances in the front. By performing 'architectural detective work' and using photos in their family archive, my clients and I figured out the initial looks of the house. They were thrilled with the resulting drawing.

I did this house portrait for a couple in an Ottawa neighbourhood, as part of a fundraiser for a 5 year-old Romanian girl's delicate and complex surgery. I am very grateful for their kind support!

In the same neighbourhood, this house is a favourite of mine. Rather unassuming during the day, it looks fantastic at night-time as it is exquisitely lit - which is why I decided to do its portrait in coloured pencils on black paper.

Built in 1872, this gem of a Victorian design in the region of the 1000 Islands was acquired by a couple who took great care to restore it to its former glory and ran it as as a bed&breakfast for a good few years, under the name of Victoria Rose Inn. My husband and I visited back in 2014 for my birthday and were wowed by all the historical information the owners had collected and displayed on the walls of the spaces downstairs - it really acted also as a small local museum. I find it sad they closed it down for visitors this past summer.

This house in Mason, Ohio, was purchased by a family who had lived in Florence, Italy for a few years. It boasts an elegant interior with high ceilings which the owners were in love with as the space reminded them of Italian mansions. Upon relocating yet again, they asked me to do a portrait of the house to keep it as a memory.

For my doctoral study, I researched Canadian houses in the postwar period. Parkwood Hills in Ottawa is a neighbourhood developed on previous farm hilly land in the 1960s. The decade saw a big change in house design, with the rapid increase in land prices and a migration from bungalow types to split-level houses and finally to two-storeys. The area also has a variety of semi-detached house types which were trendy for a rather small period towards the end of the decade. This is a pencil-portrait of a bungalow.

Ink sketch of a split-level design from the 1960s in the Parkwood Hills neighbourhood, Ottawa. 

An ink and coloured-pencils sketch of a different split-level type in Parkwood Hills, Ottawa.

A pencils and markers sketch of a bungalow type in Parkwood Hills, Ottawa.

I don't typically work in oils or acrylic, yet the medium worked beautifully for the commission of a small portrait of these barns of a farm in Eastern Ontario.

I painted this as a gift to our children's former piano teacher and his wife, upon their decision to leave Ottawa and move to the West Coast. The different colours for the otherwise very simple facade reflect the variety of musical pieces he included in his amazing teaching and composing portfolio.

Watercolour and ink commission of an Ottawa house. The client wanted it to be portrayed in spring, capturing the lovely cherry tree blossoms in the front yard.

Pencil commission of an Ottawa house in the Tunney's Pasture area which had been demolished after purchase due to increased land price. Since this was the client's childhood home, the house portrait evokes special emotions.

This was my client's family cottage which had suffered repeatedly during floods in the recent years and had eventually had to be taken down as the wood structure was beyond repair. The client commissioned a watercolour painting as a Christmas gift for her mother - she asked that the blue chairs be represented as red given that they had been painted at a later date than that of the picture.