Again, THANK YOU! I can’t adequately express in words how much this means to my family.” – K.C. of Reston, Virginia
Often the commissions I receive are created to heal, honor and pay respect to the past and the future, while expressing gratitude in the now. Many of my clients reach out to me to heal the loss of a pet for example, or to celebrate love in the form of a bridal bouquet. “Grandmother’s Lily of the Valley” is about a piece commissioned by a loving daughter and a son who wanted to give their mom something special.
How it all started
It started with Kris, the daughter, connecting with me through a dear friend of mine, reaching out wanting to give her mother a meaningful gift for her birthday. She wanted to commission a painting that represented 3 generations, and one which specifically paid homage to their Grandmother who had recently passed away. I was all on board – art with meaning is what I do!
Kris shared the story of her Grandmother’s garden which was full of Lily of the Valley flowers. Kris’ Mother had replanted many of them in her own garden when her kids (Kris and her brother) were small. The flowers grew in an area surrounded by two large trees, one which held a big tire swing and in the other, a home to an owl.
The two trees represent Kris and her brother’s childhood (and as such the family’s future) and the Lily of the Valley flowers represent their Mother’s Mother (aka the past). Since the painting itself depicts their Mother’s garden (and is given to their Mother) it represents the now. To include even more symbolism, the family’s unofficial ‘crest’ is present on one of the trees – the letters A stacked above a K inside a large C. Kris shared the letters of the three generations all follow this naming convention, whether intentional or accidental. See some behind the scenes photos from when I painted this piece here and here.
The painting was a success
The gift was presented at a family reunion and I received the most heartfelt thank you note from their Mother and separately, Kris, afterwards. Here’s what Kris wrote me (and she mentioned she would love to share this with all you):
Mission success! Not only did she cry, but we presented the painting to her at the family reunion, where my great-uncle (my Grandma’s brother) could also see your amazing work of art. It was a unanimous success- tears were shed and Kleenex were counted! 🙂
As you can see from my mom’s beaming smile, she’s beyond pleased. Everything you captured about the scene, the attention to detail, and the setting made her so happy. Erica, she was both honored and humbled to be the newest owner of an original Eriksdotter masterpiece!
Again, THANK YOU! I can’t adequately express in words how much this means to my family. We were so fortunate to have my Grandmother with us for 100 years, and her absence is felt by all. Having a daily reminder in the rendering of her beloved flowers means a great deal. You have such exquisite skill!!!
Please, PLEASE, feel free to use the story to express how much your artistry has touched our family. I understand that it’s such a little thing for us to do to show you our gratitude, and we are all more than happy to be a testament to your skill in healing and remembrance.
Art is so much more than just paint on a canvas. Following my calling isn’t always the easy thing to do, but it is so rewarding and it is stories like this that fills me up and truly reminds me what I love doing.