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In the Beginning

Posted by on Feb 8, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

In the beginning, there were only two. Lisa and Eddie.

Here’s Lisa.

And here’s Eddie.

Lisa the monkey has slept with my daughter Uma every night since she was 10  months old. Eddie the elephant has slept with my son Kaveen (and Uma’s twin brother) every night since he was 13 months old. Eddie and Lisa are my twins’ best friends – now that my kids are going on 3 years old, they talk about Eddie and Lisa as though they are real people. Eddie and Lisa have adventures and get filthy dirty with my kids, they eat all the “yummy” pretend food my kids prepare in their play kitchen, they get thrown in the air and laughed at and dressed up and hugged and kissed and cried on. They are, in short, perfectly loved toys.

So last summer, I thought my kids might like a portrait of their toys. I’d been going through a rough couple of years trying to find a way to redefine myself as an artist after giving up my fancy freelance work as a costume designer in New York, living through the craziness of life with newborn twins, moving to Miami, and becoming a stay-at-home mom. I needed a little bit of “me” back. So I set up a little table for drawing and painting, took out all my old paints and pencils from my costume design days, and painted a couple of quick toy portraits for my kids while they were napping….

and thus the idea for First Friends was born. My kids LOVED their paintings, and when I say loved, I mean they jumped up and down, screamed for joy, ran to get Eddie and Lisa and show them the portraits, and have continued to point out the portraits all year long for anybody that comes over to our house.

Here they are, with their finished portraits:

Uma and Kaveen with their toy portraits.

Pretty cute, right? My husband is Indian, and I’ve got a strictly Scandinavian heritage, so in case you were wondering, the kids’ golden glow is pure hybrid vigor. ;)

Anyway, I’ve been painting toy portraits for a few months now, and have just started this blog, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do! I hope to feature every portrait I paint with a little post in the blog about the toy, its owner, and what makes the toy so special and beloved. If you order a portrait, I would really love if you could also send along a picture of your child (or your nostalgic adult – they like toy portraits too!) and some background info about the toy for the blog.  Tell your kids they’ll be famous, then show them the post – I’m pretty sure they’ll love it. I’ll use first names only to protect your privacy, and of course it is totally up to you whether to include a photograph of your child or not.

Looking forward to the stories!


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