Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

As I’ve started painting more portraits for families, the reaction I didn’t expect has come from the children themselves.

Originally I was just thinking of the moms. Moms like myself, who would love to have their children’s portrait painted and on display in their home. But what has moved me the most is seeing how it affects the children.

Here is my favorite quote ever from a 5-year old when she saw her portrait:

“I love it so much my heart is bursting out like a star!”

And from a 4-year old, when she saw my portrait of herself in her pink tutu and Spiderman leg warmers:

“My favorite part is how strong and pretty I am!”

At my live-painting event last month, two five-year olds watched me paint, their faces in genuine awe. I’m so grateful for the mom who took this photo, so I could see how they were watching.

Having a portrait painted of your children is the ultimate gift for them. Creating these paintings are my gift to you. Together, we are telling your children: We see you. You are beautiful. Who you are, right now, is perfect.

Ever since I was a child I have loved drawing children. But it was often about more than the figure. What I’ve always been passionate about is making art that tells the stories of our lives.

I am keenly aware that the details in our busy days ultimately shape our memories. The polka-dot bookbag my eldest chose for her first day of kindergarten. The hilarious fashion choices my two-year old made just to go to the supermarket with me.

Like you, photographs fill my hard drives. But I often found myself, late at night at the kitchen table, drawing details from the day that I didn’t want to forget. I discovered that taking a brush to paper was the most intimate way I could express my love for my children, my awe of who they are becoming, and how proud of them I am.

Love, Naava is my way of doing that for you. I call my paintings heirloom portraits, because not only do I insist on working with luxurious art materials, I am certain these portraits will be kept in your family for generations.

As a trained artist, I will capture their little curls just so, and their crooked smiles just right. But what I really want is for you to see these portraits as your child’s story. The smudges on the paper, the delicate pencil renderings, the rainbow of colors in their fashion choices — I bring all of it together to capture the beauty and magic of their unique childhood.

Let’s work together to capture your child in their very own heirloom portrait. Reach out and show me which photos of them you love, and I’ll help you pick the perfect one to turn into a painting.

Until then, click here to read more beautiful sentiments from kids and parents who love their own portraits.

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An Illustrated Gift Guide for Baby Number 2

When it's time to have your second baby, you naturally reflect on what you learned from your first.

HATS WITH CHIN TIES

My first child had baskets of hats I bought for her before she was even born. How could I resist? Little bunny ears, fluffy pom poms. All adorable. All impossible to keep on her head. I put them on, she pulled them off. Old ladies on the street would inevitably yell at me, "Your baby is cold! Put a hat on her!" 

Lesson learned: For my second child, I only used hats that closed around her chin and wrapped over her ears. They stayed on, they kept her warm, and old ladies stopped yelling at me.

Baby in her knit hat: Embroidery and illustration

Baby in her knit hat: Embroidery and illustration

BOOSTER SEATS

It was very exciting when my first baby sat in her big, fluffy high chair. It was also very messy. I'd haul the high chair into the shower after a meal and spray it down, scraping all the dry cereal out of the corners. Then I'd drag it back into the kitchen, where it took up lots of valuable kitchen real estate.

Lesson Learned: For my second baby I used the Fisher-Price Booster Seat. It strapped onto our dining room chairs and pulled up to our table so she could eat with us. It was light weight and easy to wipe down with a paper towel. Best of all, I didnt't have a "baby throne" in the middle of the kitchen anymore. 

Peas for dinner in our favorite  Fisher Price Booster Seat

Peas for dinner in our favorite Fisher Price Booster Seat

ONESIES

I had two winter babies, so I was always trying to keep them warm. But hats fell off. Socks disappeared. Sweaters rolled up their bellies.

Lesson Learned: Many onesies leave their legs bare, or have dozens of buttons (not good for 1:00 am diaper changes). So when I found onesies that were warm and practical, I collected them in every color. 

Warm arms and legs = Longer naps

Warm arms and legs = Longer naps

Lesson Learned: Products that make life easier are the secrets to a mother's sanity. Even if it doesn’t have a bow on it.

What tricks did you learn with your second that you wish you had known with your first?