In this article, we are going to talk about why you should commission a memorial painting to honor your loved one and their memory.
A memorial painting can express things in a way that a photograph alone cannot. The photo captures a moment, yes, and can do so perfectly. A painted portrait — especially at the hands of a true artist — can portray much more.
If you are looking to commission a memorial painting of your loved one, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at three reasons why a memorial painting commission is a fitting choice to honor your loved one’s memory.
A Memorial Painting Captures Their Likeness
You might be a big fan of the abstract, but a memorial painting is probably not the time to go Picasso-style. You’ll love a portrait that really, truly reminds you of your loved one.
Choose an artist with a style that you like but also with the right skill to capture your loved one’s likeness. While artistry is always key, your loved one’s accurate depiction will ultimately reveal the memorial painter’s artistic excellence.
You can still remember the contours of their face; the way they held their head just so; the gentle wrinkles on their beautiful hands. Those will be the things that you appreciate most about the portrait, when done well.
And you will appreciate the painting that perfectly captures your loved one’s likeness all the more as the years go by and your memory begins to soften and fade.
A Portrait Turns a Photo Into Art
Yes, the photographs will still be there. But the memorial painting is their likeness as art. And that is an important part of the memories you will always treasure.
Most portrait artists who accept commissions will paint a memorial portrait in honor of someone who has died. And many memorial portrait artists will accept commissions for those who are still living, so it typically works both ways.
Since most memorial portraits are painted after the person’s death, you will need to find an artist who accepts commissioned work based on photographs.
If you are planning ahead and getting a memorial painting done while you or the loved one is still living, you may be able to find a local artist for in-person sittings. However, whether you find the artist locally or online, most will want photographs of some sort to inform their art when the subject is not present.
A Memorial Portrait Captures Their Personality
But more than just a simple reproduction of their visage, a true artist will be able to capture something of your loved one’s personality.
Maybe it’s their quirks, like the way he let his glasses slide down his nose or the way she always sat with one foot off the floor, knee bent. Perhaps it’s the mischievous sparkle in their eyes, the thoughtful look of contemplation, the ready laugh. Or maybe it is something you can’t quite describe.
A good artist can take the photos (and videos) you provide, ask penetrating questions, listen to stories, and, somehow, come up with something wonderful. It’s like magic, the artist’s craft.
It’s intangible, but it’s real.
That’s what is so special about your loved one and their incredible, unique, utterly perfect personality. And that’s what is so special about a talented and dedicated memorial portrait artist: the ability to seek out and discover the key to a person’s truly special personality, then communicate it without words.
It’s an art.
A Memorial Painting Is Beautiful to Look At
You should commission a memorial painting because it captures your loved one’s likeness and personality. Absolutely. But again, photographs can do that too.
(Not to knock photographers; my wife is one, and she is really, really good. That’s an art, too. It’s just a different medium, and serves a different purpose.)
The thing that sets painting apart is the unique beauty of the painted portrait. A well-done memorial painting is simply beautiful to look at. There is a depth to the colors splayed across the canvas through brush stroke after brush stroke, and it comes to life in a way that no other medium does.
And that’s what you want in a memorial painting – life.
Nothing will bring your loved one back; you know this, everyone does. But there is a reason people are starting to call it a “celebration of life” instead of funeral or memorial service. We long for that life, that special, wonderful person. And so anything that captures even a spark of that life is a treasure.
Perhaps that’s the greatest thing about a commissioned art memorial painting. When you find the right artist to depict your loved one, the completed work brings out and highlights – like a jewel – that spark of life that you’ve been mourning.
The paintings in this post have been generously provided by the artist Mary Ann. To view more of her work and for commissions, contact her here.
I know Mary Ann Simmons personally, and her artwork is truly exquisite. As you can see above, her impressionistic style uses watercolors that celebrate the joy and messiness of life. If you asked me for a recommendation, Mary Ann would be my first choice.
Daniel has been working in the funeral industry since 2010, speaking directly to grieving families as they made funeral arrangements.
He began researching and publishing funeral articles on this website as part of his role as product and marketing manager at Urns Northwest.
Having written hundreds of articles and growing the site to multiple millions of views per year, Daniel continues to write while providing editorial oversight for US Urns Online’s content team.