Making Waves

Nancy KochenowerBlog


salty waves lick noses and toes
H2O’d hair meets sunlight and glows
sand-covered hands reach for anything frozen
giggles and squeals lost as ocean’s roar grows and
you’re free to seek out the highs and the lows
clad coolly in flip flops and minimal clothes

summertime offers to you who will seize
golden-drenched days and capricious silk breeze
putting your feet up, relishing ease
of languishing lazily long as you please

rested, relaxed you begin to explore
treats for the palate, fun stuffs galore
go for it! now is your time to soar
sky’s the limit, so venture high above shore
to realms you have dreamed of, wanting much more

reach out and grasp what you’re longing to try
live life to the fullest don’t let it pass by
way up in the clouds you’ll be thrilled as you fly
near the sun with the birds above, super high

you could sing, you could dance, play violin or a horn
become skater, or juggler; a gymnast or clown
the list just gets longer, it goes on and on

for most things I wish you well as you seek
a challenge you’ll claim riding life to its peak
yet I have an offer for adventure I think
you will love as you forge ahead and don’t shrink

a chance to make waves in your world you may find
as you watch as you listen and make up your mind
to experience a journey you’ll love as you climb
where you’ll savor sweet pleasures; enjoy the sublime

so get ready to join me ‘cause I’ll be in touch
when I’m finished preparing, bet you’ll like it a bunch

have a blast as you travel on road trip or flight
when you get home come back to check my website
where you may discover a lifelong delight

Frills, Frocks, or Khakis Sans Socks?

Nancy KochenowerBlog

Disclaimer: Paintings shown are not finished portraits

Tips on dressing your child for the portrait photoshoot….

If you’re like most parents you want everything to be perfect the day of your child’s portrait photoshoot. His clothing, her hair, the venue, even your child’s mood is often of concern as you prepare for the big day.

The good news is that getting ready for the photoshoot is probably going to be a lot simpler than you’d imagined. So let’s take a few minutes to focus on one of the first concerns you may have; the matter of getting your child’s clothing together for that time.

Whether you’re wanting to portray your child at her dressed-up best or in casual attire is more than likely your initial consideration.

If you have trouble making that decision the simplest solution is to have your child photographed in a dressy outfit and also in more casual clothing. Then when you view the photos of her dressed both ways you’ll have a much better idea of which one you find more appealing.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the elements that come into play when choosing clothing for your son’s or daughter’s portrait photoshoot.


Portraying the young child with bare feet is often desired as those little toes are undeniably cute. So why not show them off while they’re still sweet as can be!

There are times, though, when common sense would dictate the wearing of shoes, such as when the weather is cold or when the child is portrayed engaged in a sport or activity where shoes would be essential.

For an older child often the portrait will show just three-quarters of the figure so that shoe choices don’t enter into the equation. However, if the feet are showing, as is sometimes the case, a judgment call can be made for shoes, boots, sandals or bare feet based on what the person is wearing in the photograph and how she wishes to be portrayed.

Dresses, Shirts and Pants Styles

Quite a few girls of all ages are photographed in full or tea-length dresses for their portraits. However, I’ve painted some young ladies in shorter dresses or skirts, slacks outfits, or blue jeans with t-shirts, too, for a casual look that is also appealing.

Often parents are choosing to have their sons of all ages photographed in khaki shorts or trousers while wearing a long-sleeved oxford shirt with sleeves rolled up. This gives the appearance of being dressed up yet laid back in the same photo. For warmer weather a polo shirt may be chosen.

The blue jeans and t-shirt look is also a classic clothing choice.

Sometimes parents prefer more formal clothing for their son and that’s a great portrait look, too.

Color Choices

Whites and light blues for dresses and shirts are the most popular color choices for clothing for all ages of children and young people in their portrait photographs. Khakis, navies or blue jeans are also classic pant or skirt choices that won’t look outdated in years to come. Pink and red are lesser chosen colors for shirts or dresses but I’ve painted some wonderful portraits with girls or boys wearing those colors.

If you’d like for your child’s portrait to be painted portraying him in dark clothing, such as navy or black, you may want to have him photographed in a lighter color since details and folds in fabrics of dark colors seem to disappear when photographed. When it comes time to paint the article of clothing can be painted in the darker color you prefer, even if your child has been photographed in a light color.

Of course, the choices for fabric colors and clothing styles are ultimately your decision to make; however, I’ve found that most of the time solid-colored fabrics suit portraiture better than printed fabrics do. I would also advise that classic clothing styles are usually more timeless than trendy styles.

If you have a printed article of clothing that fits your child very well or an article of clothing in a style you like but in the wrong color, I can photograph her in it and paint the clothing as if it were white, blue, or whatever your choice may be. This works well and may save you from taking the time to shop for an article of clothing in the style you prefer.

It’s usually not possible to paint the style of an article of clothing differently in the painting, although a skirt or pair of shorts can be lengthened in the portrait but not shortened.

Hair Styles and Accessories

On the lighter side, if you can make it to the day of the photoshoot without having had your young child find a pair of scissors and chop out a chunk of his hair you’re doing great!

If you happen to take your child in for a haircut and too much is trimmed off, don’t despair! Longer hair can be painted in. It’s not as easy to shorten hair, though, but can be done sometimes.

That said, the above suggestions are guidelines and there are no rules as to what your child must wear for the portrait photoshoot. Your opinion as to their attire is most important.

If you have questions about your child’s portrait attire, or any other aspect of portraiture, that I haven’t addressed please feel free to leave a reply and I’ll comment as soon as possible.

Best Age to Have Your Child’s Portrait Painted

Nancy KochenowerBlog

One of the first questions a parent asks me when contemplating having their child’s portrait painted is, 
“What is the best age to have my child’s portrait painted?”

The answer is there’s no set age to have a painting done of your child but there are some factors I’m going to share with you that may help you make the best decision for your family as to when may be the most advisable time to proceed.

An age that’s often chosen for painting little ones is sometime between the ages of three and five. This may be because three-year-olds are getting to the age where they are more cooperative during a photography session than they would be at an earlier age, and their faces have developed to the extent where their particular bone structures are more evident than they were before the age of three.

Some people prefer to have their children painted before the age of five because then one is most likely to get photos of them before they lose their front teeth, a process that often begins in the sixth year of life if not right before that.

When their permanent teeth are in children seem to take on a more mature appearance than they had when their teeth were smaller. Also, by this time some children may be in the process of getting braces put on their teeth.

Children often begin to take on a gangly appearance sometime around the age of six to eight-years-old, too, though not always. It’s just that a parent doesn’t know whether or not this will happen with their child until the string-bean look has begun to take place!

However, I’ve painted many children between the ages of six and twelve-years-old whose portraits have turned out beautifully! So, if your child is six or older and you’re wanting a portrait of him in his childhood years, be encouraged that it might be the time to proceed!

I once painted a family of five children each one at the age of eleven-years-old. Their parents displayed their portraits in a row on a dining room wall as a warm and lovely tribute to their family!

There are some people, yet, who wait until their children are between the ages of sixteen and eighteen-years-old to paint. This is also a wonderful time to portray children as they have an adult appearance while still retaining the freshness of youth.

In summary, the best time to paint your children is when you are so inclined while taking into consideration the above factors.

Whatever time you may choose to have your child’s portrait painted, I think you’ll find it to be a special and enjoyable experience for you and your family!

Artist’s Dance

Nancy KochenowerBlog


tiny drops
enormous globs
are dancing from my brush
alighting on my canvas
‘til it seems there’s just enough
some of them swirl
some of them glide
some quietly tiptoe on
some burst
some swoop
some just appear
then suddenly they’re gone

exhilaration, joy, peace
and thoughtful contemplation
attend the choreographies
as portraits near completion

yet on these flights of fantasy
that swell into crescendo
becoming likenesses of lives
begun by our Creator
a call is heard to join the troupes
participation’s needed
come with me on this journey
as paintings are completed

you may decide you want to dance
by picking up a brush
to paint along, experiencing
the full creative rush

or you may find you’re interested
in commissioning a work
of one whose likeness should endure
in a statement of fine art

and if you wish to view and read
whatever appears here
be it photographs of paintings
or ideas I may share
just know you’re more than welcome
the plan is that you’ll find
and especially a good time