Paintings: Moments by Melanie

In Moments by Melanie, a beloved family member, friend, place or moment in time is captured with precision and loving detail from a photograph in acrylic by artist Melanie Muenchinger. Melanie turns a favorite photo into art, amplifying the beauty of that relationship or memory and all the accompanying feelings. Landscapes,
still lifes, flowers and portraits, nothing is too big or small to preserve. In a world where we take 10-100 photos a day, committing one to paint that last a lifetime
(and even beyond you) is truly special.

The process is simple: inquire for my availability and info about what you want painted. (I may not have time or be able to accommodate every request. I reserve the right to decline certain subject matter beyond my ability or interest to paint.) Then email me a specific photo or a few shots that capture the subject's personality, colors and expression. The clearer and more detailed, the better. We'll discuss and I'll advise the best one to use. I often add some personal items in the painting, as well as create a neutral background or omit details that take the focus off the subject.

Updating my blog today with more recent commissions! It's been a busy 2022 painting and not much time for maintenance. I appreciate your patience while I get everything titled and reorganized, and I'm excited to share these new pieces! There's no gift more personal or special than a custom portrait, and the holidays are coming! If you are interested in commissioning me, please email me for a quote: mmuenchinger@grandecom.net

Luke the Wonder Dog 11x14" canvas

I painted Luke for my pastor Dr. Bowman. I haven't met Luke but heard about his character and antics in many sermons over the years. It was a gift but also to display a sample of my work for the church live auction benefitting the Benevolence Food Pantry. Seeing the bidding on my pet portrait commission donation was thrilling and I am so humbled and pleased it raised $875 for this ministry! 
A friend purchased it for me to paint her daughter's cat. 
I haven't received the photo yet to start but hopefully soon!

This engagement photo was sent to me as a reference for commissioning a portrait for a shower gift. (It was on an invitation, so unfortunately I do not know who the photographer was to give him or her credit)

8x10" canvas

2022 was definitely "The Year of the Dog" with pet commissions, and I am very thankful I had the opportunity to tackle some new breeds and add their fur and features to my repertoire.

4x4" on textured paper
This Golden Doodle pet memorial was shipped overseas so I didn't use a block or stretched canvas to keep my customers cost down. It fit in a regular A2 size envelope with a sympathy card, which the recipient could put in a frame of their choosing later.

8x10" pet memorial

Juno 12x12 wood panel


Penny 4x4 inch wood block




Sydney 3x5" block 

Angeline 11x14" canvas

This little princess was my first time painting a shiba inu. I've never met one but know they are very smart, social dogs. I replaced the background with a cushion fge color of her favorite chew pillow and personalized the tag to reflect her love for her owner.
"This is the best Christmas gift I'll receive this year!" ~Andy

                                                                  Cloud 11x14" canvas
It was tricky to capture the patches of black, white and tan in this Texas Heeler! Friends from church commissioned this for their son, as his beloved dog has cancer. I hope it brings them all comfort and sweet memories of the nine years Cloud was part of their family.


                                                Charley 4x4" block pet memorial
My friend Cindy keeps this displayed near her dogs ashes. I also painted Charley's companion Niko. The way she's staged both paintings and their cremains is such a touching tribute to the joy they brought her and each other.

                                                   Bruno 4x4"canvas

My dad commissioned 2 paintings of this dog whom he petsits for a friend. He loves Bruno like his own. This was the first time I did 2 identical portraits. Each dog tag (only about 1/4"!) was personalized to read "I ❤️ John" and "I ❤️ Anne".

These next two are brother and sister, working from a very small family vacation photo. Capturing a person's likeness on just 4 inches is difficult but a fun challenge! They wore matching tie dyes.
Ben 4x4" block

Kara 4x4 inch block





My 4 inch miniatures are bestsellers! Each piece is titled and signed on the back with a tiny clay heart to remind you of the intentionality of both your commission and the work that went into creating it. Perfect for gifting, a memorial, or to simply surround oneself with joyous memories, these deep panel wood paintings will be a lasting treasure you can hang or display anywhere. Size and depth allow the convenience and portability of moving it about one’s space to keep close by.

Small groups allow stacking opportunities which add a playful, sculptural element. On a desk while you work, you will feel transported to that place or in the company of that individual. Displayed in a common area or or by a door you frequently use, these are sure to bring a smile to your face. Tucked away in a nook, they will continue to be a sweet discovery and opportunity for quiet meditation and reflection. Finished sides are gallery quality and make each piece a clean, sophisticated addition to any decor.



Leia 4" acrylic

Plamide 4" acrylic

 

Sparky 4" acrylic

Lauren 4" acrylic

Love it!! Have to get you to paint my other two...(son and daughter) -Carolyn


Murphy 4" acrylic

"Giving this to my mom, she'll love it." Alex


Cookie 4" acrylic (commissioned gift)

 Thank you so much for the beautiful painting of my dog Cookie! 😍 -Karen




I want to take mine to bed tonight! -Benjamin, age 7, upon unwrapping his portrait



"Adam" and "Benjamin"  4"×4" on wood panels






This painting of Maki took my breath away. Everyone, I mean everyone, was blown away when I opened this with family at Christmas. I always treasure her gifts, but this will be a very special treasure. -Theresa

"Maki"  4"×4" on wood panel

Reference photo

Melanie is so talented! She really captured the spirit of our pets, we want more of our animals who have departed, and to gift to friends. We will forever cherish these. -The Steiners

"Eva" 4"×4" on wood panel
From my photo. She has a cute dark mark on her bottom lip that always looks like she's open mouthed/whistling!

"Kia"  4"×4" on wood panel

 From my photo I took, I omitted the scratches on his nose, 

mosquitos are bad in the summer here, poor guy!

(Eva and Kia are brother and sister)


This brought tears to my eyes. 

I miss him so much, but love seeing him now every day. -Lynette 

BJ 4"x4" wood panel (memorial)
I adore black cats!  But he is the only one I've ever seen with *white* whiskers! (and lived to be 26!)

"Megan"  4"×4" on wood panel
Reference photo.  And below is a photo snapped while I worked before I added the color, so a black and white painting is also an option!


                                                                Ian 4"x 4" wood panel
Reference photo from family

                                                        Ian and Megan, brother and sister

"I will treasure this miniature of one of my favorite places!" -Christine
"Enchanted Rock" 4x4 on wood panel 
(gift, using online photos of Enchanted Rock as references)

Love it, thank you!!!- Rebecca


                                                    Blue 4"x4" on wood panel ( memorial)
                                                           Reference photo from family

I love realism for portraits, but also love French Impressionism! 
These next two were special requests and my first attempts at that style. 

She loved it!! -Janice

                                                Flowers for You    4"x4" on wood panel
                       commissioned work for a friend to gift a girlfriend who loves                                     impressionism and lived in England, loves all things Victorian

I love sunflowers and impressionism! Thank you, Melanie! -Penny
                                                                Sunflowers 4"x4" wood panel

            I LOVE Grumpy Cat! This looks just like him, RIP Tardar Sauce - Paul

                                                         Grumpy 4"×4" on wood panel
                                                        gift to my brother

The Child 4" acrylic

"Hand-painted scene of a trail above the Pacific, just for me, precious gift from Melanie" -Ramona


                                                    "Sonomamona"  4"×4" on wood panel

  "Brett, the Wonder Poodle"  4"×4" on wood panel

"Brett keeps staring at his painting..!" -Carolyn


Reference photo! Brett's personality is larger than life and I think he deserves his own picture book series, so I wanted to capture him in a more whimsical, illustrated style. 

This was a gift for my stepdad, whose favorite time of year is when the bluebonnets are sprouting up on Texas' highways.....

                                   The End of a Perfect Day"  4"×4" on wood panel

                           Love it! Thank you! Just so pretty and special. -Brenda
     "Growth and Grace"  4"×4" on wood panel
for a friend recovering from breast cancer

Molly 4" acrylic


I painted this as a gift for my sweet friend, Andrea, because I cherish our brief but restorative coffee visits when she comes to town! I think of all the lattes, tears and love shared with friends and family over the years whenever I look at this piece. I went for a folk art feel.

"Time with You"  
4"×6" on wood panel
larger prints coming soon!

Rusty 4" acrylic pet memorial

Anna 4" acrylic

Casper 4" acrylic



Peaches and Pancake 4" acrylic commissioned gift for Gov. Abbott's dogs

Pepper 4" acrylic



Olivia 4" acrylic


Jacqueline 4"acrylic



Here are my larger paintings and commissioned pieces on canvas, listed with sizes.


Aggie 8x10" acrylic

8x10" acrylic



Lainey and Drea 4"acrylic

Kit Kat 16x20" acrylic

Marigold 8x10" acrylic

Reilly and Jackson 16x20" acrylic

We love it! -Brooke (Reilly's mom, pictured here with her son Jackson)



Eric & Victoria 16x20" acrylic





Camryn 16x20" acrylic


Helena 11x14" acrylic


Conrad 11x14" acrylic



Karolina 12"x 17" canvas
"Amazing!!" -Jitka


My photo of Karolina in a silk dress I bought at a thrift store.  
Doin' her princess thang!


This memorial of baby Penny Rose with her parents is a work in progress. It was challenging because I worked from several photos to incorporate different clothing, hair and expressions to create the one image, and then adjust for lighting. This is a 16x20 canvas, I will update once it is complete! I love these smiles and hope it brings them great joy.


I painted this snow scene during Snowpocalypse! A few weeks later I added the foxes. I think this would make a great book cover, maybe write a story for it soon...

Hide and Seek 11"x14" canvas


This painting is special because my son William asked to paint with me one afternoon. We both painted birds from photos.  He got a little discourage (or bored, or both) and abandoned this painting with a green background and part of the bird, which I finished. (It's important to keep in mind that paintings never start out looking very good, you have to go the distance! Work till it's good!)
I still enjoyed he asked to spend that time together. 
A few months later I added the flowers.

Untitled 16"x20"
This is the bird I painted during our mother/son sesh!

Scissortail 16"×20"

I love irises. This is in my home (ahem, private collection!) I used the leftover paint from a zoom painting class and background technique we learned to make a completely new but color coordinated painting.
Planting Irises (Or, Uprooted) 12"x17"

Did I mention I love irises??

Iris 12"×16"
from a closeup photo I snapped on a walk


My husband Paul is a wonderful cook who was born and raised in Baton Rouge. Almost every good dinner in our house begins with wine, onion, garlic, olive oil, and on his favorite nights, crawfish! This still life is in our kitchen. Some of my photos are in frames, but I always like to paint the sides gallery wrap style, no frame necessary.

"Let's Geaux Cook..." 11x14 canvas
(The garlic is a prop for photo staging, I didn't use a real still life set up to paint this, seen the real thing enough times to know!)

I have always appreciated the different periods of art and painting, and work in many styles to convey different feelings and aspects of my personality or those of my subjects. The following commission of 5 pet portraits involved a consultation with the family with very specific requests from each member about their favorite pet's personality, colors, props and other important details to include, and the style in which to paint each. The goal was a gallery wall with each painting being unique, and the dog, everyone's favorite, the star!

Chango 
(The King)
16×20 on canvas
"This is AMAZING! It looks just like him. So dignified.  What a good dog!"
Reference photo I took during our consultation. (I am pretty good at capturing smiles in photos, even on pets!) They requested I pose him with his favorite rope...

Bo 
(The Loner)
8×10 on canvas
"Background is awesome! You got his pompous expression, too"


Mario
(The Brat)
8×10 on canvas
Suzy and Ashlynn said Andy Warhol. And a witch hat. Because he's naughty.

"Mind blown! Absolutely perfect!! That hat!!! Mario is so happy about it"

Jessie
(The Queen)
8×10 on canvas
Carter said a queen. On a cushion. With Flowers. And wallpaper.

"My favorite so far! You got her expression exactly right. And the mirrored effect is sooo good"

Luigi
(The Poet/Tortured Artist)
8×10 on canvas
(he was literally hiding under the bed when I took the photo to work from!)
"Yes!! This is awesome. You got the books and the curve of his tail exactly right"


Five paintings! One happy family!

I painted this for my son's graduation, using his senior photo.
(2020 seniors had a year like no other!)

Jonathan 12"x17"
(He's even more handsome in person. Just sayin'!)

For this next fun piece, I worked from a photo one of our talented McCallum journalists took to create this memory of high school football glory days and his friends. I wasn't at this pep rally, but I can hear the roar of the students and feel the excitement as the confetti falls! (As the original photo is someone's copyrighted work, this painting was just for fun, for our family.) 
Jonathan is #51...

"Rally" 12×17

I painted this as a gift for Dr. Dodson's family, using photos from online articles about her tragic passing. I was heartbroken for her family and so many grieving friends whose children were patients of Lindley's.  I felt like I knew this very special woman when finished, and prayed it would honor her memory and bring comfort and peace to those who really did know her in life.

"Lindley" 11"x14" canvas

This commission of Darby was for my dear friends' daughter Mary of their beloved, senior dog. I painted her without her cataracts (and with shiny white teeth, many of which are now missing) to reflect the days of her youth, and swapped out Stormtroopers in their reference photo for "I ❤Mary" on the bandana. Photos preserve a specific moment, but a painting can recapture years of love and materialize a sweet sentiment.

Darby 16x20 canvas

"Omg, love it!! The scarf is everything! She loves it, thank you, Melanie" -April



Painting of my cat while she posed. What a patient subject. 
She's a beauty and she knows it!
Sadie 16x20" canvas

One I did working from a photo I took of her.  Not sure what she was looking at, 
but it had her attention for sure!

This was a gift for my mother. We have a special family pie recipe she made with her mom, which we made growing up, and now I bake for my family. Granny Smiths and a boiled water crust are essential for this unparalleled pie.

Pie Time 11" x14" on canvas


My friend Scott Steiner took this terrific photo of Will climbing in Colorado.  The diagonal was so strong and graphic I had to paint it!
Ascendance 11"x14" canvas




I  call this painting "Before the Cross", to represent my savior Jesus, eyes fixed on his destiny of the cross, awaiting the crucifixion.  All powerful, but meek and gentle, submitting to death to pay our ransom. 

I love how the spotlight illuminates his intense gaze and huge, still paws.


Before the Cross 16"x 20" canvas

And, Quotes on Canvas!

I'm not a professional calligrapher, but from a young age I usually stood out as having the best handwriting in the class! (according to my teachers)
This verse was commissioned along with the wedding date for a display at a shower and wedding that would then be a gift for the married couple's home. Short verse signs are plentiful for order online, but a longer, specific verse is harder to come by and handwritten ones even harder, requiring careful planning and precision. It will not be "perfect" like a computer printing, but it will be personal, painstakingly crafted and special! 
 Like a Tree 16" x 20"

"A huge thank you for the canvas you painted for Stuart and Elizabeth. She was so touched and immediately said she wanted to display it at the wedding as well. 
You are so talented in so many ways." -Laura

And last, but not least!
When I get the opportunity, I paint FURNITURE, too!



  This was such a special project. A woman in my neighborhood commissioned me to restore her grandfather's desk, which she used as a child, for her 2 year old daughter's nursery. It was chipped, cracked, stained, (vandalized!) but held special memories. My husband helped me repair and prep it for painting. The inspiration piece was this beautiful Indian quilt from the 70's she'd had in her own room growing up, which now hangs above their crib. 
For the most part I copied the details exactly, but I gave each of the elephants their own pose and personality, including a baby! I did not draw anything here before starting, this is all painted, freehand.



The reveal brought my client (who is now my friend) to tears! Honestly, I wish I had a desk like this!  What was destined for the junkyard is now a family heirloom.

"Thank you for restoring my grandfather's childhood desk into a fabulous piece of art! An amazingly talented restoration and we are elated. It's perfect. You worked so hard and put so much attention to design and concept and functionality, and are a very talented artist. You should make this a regular gig for you an your husband! 
It's beautiful and I'm so so in so in love!"
-Laya


I also restored a chair I found curbside a few months later to match the desk. 
(Yep, trash to treasure!)
I recovered the stained seat with some hand dyed fabric she brought back from her elementary school years in Ghana. 

I almost forgot to post my horse! I purchased this magnificent vintage hand carved wooden carousel horse, and spent a week bringing it to life!




I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I have worked on during the lockdown. (Nope, hadn't painted since high school art class, and then only a couple pieces!) 
I am a maker and enjoy challenges of all kinds (cards, jewelry, etc), but am especially grateful for this pause and reset which was a chance to discover a gift and the joy of painting for myself I can share with others. 
Please share my info in your circles or contact me about a piece.
 I would love to hear from you and make it happen!

Would also enjoy reading your comments on these or your favorites. 
Thanks for looking!

14 comments:

  1. Melanie this beautiful, you are a kind and caring person that enjoys making other people happy and these paintings prove it! Wonderful job!

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    1. Thank you so much for that, Judy, I appreciate it!

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  2. Wow, just WOW!!! I am verklempt....your talent knows no bounds. And then that desk, what a treasure. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing gift with us!!
    XOXO~

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    1. Makes my day you are moved by them, thank you always for your encouragement, Judy! You get me!

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    1. Thank you for continued support and friendship over the years, Lagene!

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  4. Wow...you do not waste one minute ever do you? Your work is INCREDIBLE...love every piece you did....you are sooo incredibly talented...

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    1. Thank you so much Patricia, you are such a wonderful cheerleader and inspiration to others!

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  5. The joy and love that’s in your heart comes out in your art! I’m blown away by your accuracy in capturing the animals.

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    1. Thank you so much! (Fur is one of my favorite things to paint!)

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  6. Love your work, especially the landscapes!

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    1. Thank you, Melanie! They are really challenging at that size

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  7. I knew you had talent, but I didn't know it overflowed in all directions! Way to create a more beautiful world, Melanie! You amaze us all! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🥰💐💚💙💜

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    1. Rosy, your support all these years means so much!

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Your generous feedback helps make my work and this blog better! Thanks for inspiring and motivating me! :)