By Kristin Boza
If you’re looking for a unique gift, commissioning a painting of a home is a special way to memorialize a childhood home, a first home, or even to bring some beautiful art to your interior space.
The three local artists featured here have many artistic specialties, and home portraits is one of them.
McCarthy Fine Art & Design
Tim McCarthy says he feels like he’s been painting home portraits forever.
“My mom, Alice McCarthy, did home portraits for years. As a child, I would sit on her lap to watch her paint,” he said. “I started doing them myself in college. I was a painting major at the University of Illinois, class of 1989; I painted many of the sorority houses in Champaign.”
McCarthy focuses his work on watercolor paintings of homes and portraits of people. He also works with oil paint and creates landscapes and cityscapes. His favorite of his own paintings is the one of the Marshall Field’s building downtown.
“I have painted hundreds of churches and schools in the Chicago area, which make great wedding and graduation gifts,” he said. “I like to say that I am telling the story of your home. Some people will put small details, like their dog on the lawn or a child’s bike. My favorite thing is that I am trying to capture a memory and make it last forever. The greatest compliment I get is when I hear that the recipient had tears in their eyes when they received their painting.”
McCarthy works from photographs, but also spends a lot of time talking with his customers about the small details that mean the most to them.
“I like to be precise about the flowers and landscaping,” he said.
McCarthy Fine Art & Design, 3354 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park, is a gallery housing McCarthy’s work and offers custom framing. For more information, visit McCarthyFineArts.com or call 708-636-5834.
Judie Anderson, Artist/Illustrator
An accomplished artist and co-founder of the School of the Arts at the Beverly Arts Center with her late husband, Bill, Judie Anderson has lived her life around art. She has worked as a fashion illustrator, children’s textbook illustrator, editorial visual journalist, art director, portrait painter, and encyclopedia artist.
“I guess at this point — I am 82 years old and still not retired — I would consider myself a landscape painter,” she said. “I always wanted to try glassblowing, but I think it’s too late; I don’t have enough hot air left in me!”
Anderson’s foray into home portraits was accidental. She was approached by the BAPA team a few years ago to paint a house portrait during the annual Home Tour. After that, “it sort of became a tradition,” she said.
Working solely in watercolor, Anderson likes to visit the home in person as often as possible. She takes her own photos and spends some time observing before heading back to her own studio to work. She even taught a workshop on how to paint your own home at Elmhurst Art Museum.
Aside from homes, Anderson has painted a Beverly/Morgan Park series featuring the Givins Castle, Janson’s, and the 99th Street Metra Station. She also sketched many prominent institutions of Beverly/Morgan Park for inclusion in her and local historian Carol Flynn’s coloring books, “Color Me Beverly” and “Color Me Morgan Park,” available at Bookie’s, 10324 S. Western.
Contact Judie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meg Made Art
Meg Stalker is an artist specializing in customized invitations, personalized stationery, decorative painting and, of course, house portraits. Her foray into house portraits began after she sketched her own home and posted it to her popular Instagram page, Meg_Made_Art.
Stalker’s medium for home portraits is to use her iPad Pro and create the art piece digitally.
“Clients can provide a photo or I can go to Google Maps to find the house,” Stalker said. “Depending on what season the photo was taken, I am able to add leaves to trees and add flowers where needed.”
Clients can choose between a black and white image or color.
“Clients can choose a high-quality art print on fine art paper, or a digital PDF where they can have it printed out to any size,” Stalker said. “These make great gifts for families buying their first home, and also for people selling their family home after many years of memories. My mom commissioned a watercolor painting from an artist of the house that I grew up in many years ago, and it is one of my greatest treasures.”
See what else Meg Stalker can create on Instagram at Meg_Made_Art.