My Children’s Self Portraits

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For those of you with children (or if you are planning on having children or know someone with kids who likes fun ideas), I wanted to share one of my favorite things in my home. For three years (it has actually been four. We accidentally skipped a year), my daughter has made me a self portrait during Christmas under the guidance of her wonderful art teacher Lisa Owen-Lynch. Both of my kids take private art lessons from her. She is so talented and patient. We are very lucky to have her in our lives. My son takes an hour lesson every other week. And my daughter, once a week (my daughter did my gnome on this blog).

I think it is such a fantastic skill to encourage. I love art. And I love looking around my home and admiring the works my children have done. On to their self portraits:

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This was my daughter (age 11), year one.

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This was my daughter (age 12), year two.

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This was this year’s self portrait at age fourteen. Notice the Anthropologie fox shirt she is sporting. : )

I always get the paintings framed in spectacular large gold or silver frames, because I think the chunkiness of the frame makes the pieces feel all the more special. By the time both of my kids leave for college, I hope to have six-seven self portraits of each child in in my home. I cannot wait to see how they change.

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My son started his first self portrait this year with one that he painted for me for Christmas. I plan on making a wall feature with just their self portraits on it when I have enough to cluster them.

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I don’t post pictures of my children on this blog. I guess this will be the closest I come to it. I wanted to share what I think is such a neat project. And a really cool decoration for the home. If you have an art teacher near you, I highly recommend hiring them and having your child/children make you one (if not many over the years) of these self portraits. It is so interesting to see how your child views themselves and to log the ways they change over the years.

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This Christmas, my kids also made one each for my mother. She loved them.

Have you done this? Do you have any other ideas for me on how to create lasting physical mementos of my children? I love a project!

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

And My Romantic Home.

25 thoughts on “My Children’s Self Portraits

  1. Wow, those paintings are wonderful, really good for the age of the artists. I know I couldn’t do as good as that. How funny that your daughter is wearing Anthropologie and likes them so much they are in her paintings. You better watch out, when she goes to college she might take some of your house furnishing and gnomes too!

    • Thank you Stephen! Oh, I am watching! I know she all ready has her eye on a few pieces. I am going to have to catalog everything when she gets ready to leave. : )

      Have a wonderful Wednesday!

      Jenni

  2. I love those,they are brilliant! what a great idea. I love how you frame them and make them extra special. I teach art and my new years resolution was to start painting and drawing again since its been 5 years since Ive done some myself. Just finished my first years drawing today. Its great that you have them do lessons. I just have some school and kinda drawings, paintings and books that my boys have made. I love looking at the naturalness of their interpretation of the world.

    • Thank you Melinda! And congratulations to you on finishing your piece! That is quite an accomplishment.

      Kids do see things so simply and I love how they interpret their surroundings.

      Thank you for sharing. Have a lovely week!

      Jenni

    • Thank you Cynthia. I like to think so. : ) but I think any child can learn art with a good teacher.

      Thanks again! Have a great day!

      Jenni

  3. I absolutely love this idea. I remember making self-portraits at school when I was a kid, but I never put much thought into them and just kind of threw them together simply because I was asked to do. I’m sure that if I had worked with a professional, I would have meditated upon the idea much more than I did.

    I love that your daughter is wearing an Anthro shirt. You should totally send this to them; maybe they would spotlight your blog on their Facebook page! 😉

    • Thank you Casey! Ha! Maybe I will send it to them. Of course, I still have not figured out Facebook, so I am in trouble there. : ). I think all kids could do a good self portrait with a good teacher. And they have so much pride in their work when they are done. Completely worth it!

      Thanks for the idea! Have a wonderful day!

      Jenni

  4. This is such a cool idea. I am saving this one for my future offspring! Being half-Asian, I’m sure it will cope very well with the expectation that it must have artistic talent, haha. 😉 But seriously, I love this. And how sad am I, that the first thing I noticed was that fox top? Tsk, tsk! At least your daughter has good taste! (And/or a mother with good taste!)

    • Thank you Gwen. I told my daughter about your comment about her shirt. She liked it. We both own this shirt (it is the first one from last year) so there is no fighting over it. Although, I have yet to wear mine this season. I’m slackin’!

      Your babies with Victor will be beautiful. And your kids will need an indoor activity with your frigid temps! : )

      I hope you are doing well. Have a great Wednesday!

      Jenni

  5. These are just the coolest. I wish I’d done something like that as a kid.

    My two nieces are also taking private art lessons and their talent is incredible. I think teaching skills such as this at a young age encourages kids to keep their imagination active and stimulate their creativity as they grow into adults.

    Do you have them make scrapbooks? Or smashbooks? They can draw, doodle, write, paste, paint, whatever in them. It is a great creative option to a daily diary as it is like a creative journal.

    And if you ever need any scrapbook supplies let me know… or visit http://www.bisousscrapbooks.com . I can hook you up : )

    bisous
    Suzanne

    • Thank you Suzanne! I bet your nieces love it. My kids do. It is a really fun pastime.

      I used to scrapbook. But the last one I did was for my husband. Actually I made three exactly the same for him and his two siblings after their father passed away. It was a massive project. And I had to complete them before the memorial. I have not done one since. And that was three years ago. It is such a time commitment.

      But I bet my kids would love it. I think that is a fabulous idea. Thank you for that!

      Have a terrific week!

      Jenni

    • Thank you Brynne. I do enjoy my kids. Very much. I am glad that shows through. : ). It is always so nice to hear.

      Thanks again! Have a lovely week!

      Jenni

  6. I thought I’d already commented here, but I guess not! I loved looking through these. They’re so beautiful and have so much personality. It’s so cool that they do a new one each year. I agree that you can see how their image of themselves is evolving as they get older. The saturated colors are so beautiful, too. Such treasures, truly.

    This year for Christmas I made a ton of gifts on Shutterfly. I know it’s not the same as painting a portrait, but my talent lies in my OCD, not in my artistic abilities. Organizing photo book layouts and collages is much more up my alley. Anyways, I made my parents a photo collage of my favorite pictures of us all over the past three years or so. The collage is an 8X10 with three rows of three panels each. All of the outer panels have a photo, and the center has a monogram “M” for our last name. I included pictures from holidays and family trips and had a good mix of people in each photo. Then, I made them a card where I wrote a little paragraph about each photo, the memory it captured, and what was special about these moments with them. It was an affordable but time-consuming and well thought-out gift, and I hope they loved it because I put a lot of love into making it.I’m sure your kids feel the same way. 🙂

    Liz

    • Thank you Liz. Now we just have to decide where to hang them! Eck! I am running out of wall space!

      I love the gift you gave your parents. I am sure they did, too. That just sounds lovely. I would adore that if my grown children gave that to me. And the note is even more special!

      Have a fantastic Friday (where did it sneak up from?)!

      Jenni

    • Oh! Thank you! My daughter is obsessed with the comments on this post, so yours will make her very happy! : )

      Have a lovely evening! I’m doing a girl’s night! Woot! Woot!

      Jenni

  7. Those paintings are beautiful! At one point I thought your daughter’s picture was you and that she had painted your portrait. My daughter loves art as well and takes an art class after school on Wednesdays, since those are half days. It’s a lot of fun receiving so much art. Oh by the way, those frames are great! Where do you buy them?
    Thanks,
    Stacey

    • Thank you Stacey! We do kind of look alike. Although she looks more like my sister.

      I am glad to hear your daughter takes art class as well. I think it is so great! We have half day Wednesdays too. That is when my son takes his lessons.

      I always frame my custom frames at Michaels. I did a post a few months ago on framing, but I will have a new one up in the next two weeks. Custom framing is expensive, but I got mine for $85 a piece. This is a good price for such a chunky frame. But you can get it cheaper by going with the prebuilt ones and having your piece put onto it.

      Hope that helps!

      Have a marvelous day!

      Jenni

    • Awwww. Thanks Lisa. The kids adore you, too. I cannot wait for school to start so their lessons can get back on track. It is the only part I am looking forward to with them going back to school! : )

      You’re the best!

      Have a great weekend!

      Jenni

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