Sunday, September 09, 2007

Spotlight on BarbedWire

I am a hopeless romantic. Which means I have a HUGE soft spot for any custom portraits of couples. Of course, I am still picky, which means they have to be unique, well crafted, and beautiful. And given the subject matter, they can't be overly feminine. And given my own inclinations they can't be given to highly structured gender roles or identification (hint, if I'm pink and he's blue, I'm outta here). Even within my restrictions, there is still lots of lovely portraiture to choose from on Etsy and I love to browse though it and dream of getting custom portraits done from our wedding pictures.

One day, while wandering through the art category on Etsy, looking for nothing in particular, I found a piece that made my heart skip a beat. It was so sweet, so centered, so captured the feeling of being in love-- and I just stopped and stared. Eventually I came to my senses and looked around the rest of the shop. And I found pieces that tugged on my heart strings even more.

The image below is my absolute favorite piece. The actual listing is for a custom order, which means that the work is create based on a photo of you and your loved one holding hands. I can imagine almost endless possibilities--holding the hand of a grandparent, a child, a spouse, a parent. This particular piece grabs my attention because of the wedding rings. Perhaps because I am still relatively recently married (just a year and half), this pose seems particularly poignant. Just the simple addition of the rings tells you the story. This is a married couple. They are still very much in love, they support each other, strengthen each other.

The fact that the piece uses vintage music is fitting given the importance that music is often given in relationships--couples often have "their" song, traditional wedding receptions are marked in terms of specific dances. Technically, the paint and sheet music work together beautifully to create a depth, dimension, and a *moment* that the pair of hands occupy easily, comfortably.

The second image here is of a completely different sort. There is still a sense of a captured moment, but instead of a richly detailed painting, this is a simple, straightforward line drawing. This little one is part of BarbedWire's Sheeple series. Each sheeple is a sheep doing a people thing. If you have ever had a pet that clearly understood what you were saying and then pointedly ignored you; or simply an affection for sheep, then you will love these little sketches.

For affordable, accessible, art BarbedWire is a great choice. She not only offers custom portraits of hands but also of pets, either of which would make a brilliant holiday gift for the special people in your life. Her sheeple series would work well for sheep collectors, animal lovers, or small nooks that just need a bit of life. Now is the time to start looking/ordering if you want custom artworks for this holiday season, and I suggest starting in BarbedWire's shop! : )

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