Hands down, my daughter’s coach is one of the most important people in her life and has been since she was two years old. Every year my husband and I wonder how we can express our unmeasurable appreciation for someone so influential in our daughter’s life. We’ve yet to find a Christmas gift that’s worthy of the giving, but we continue to try.
My husband and I (coaches ourselves) always appreciate goodies and gift cards, but this year we sought a gift with a sentimental flare for the beloved “Miss Joey” (as we affectionately started calling her when our daughter was a tot and couldn’t pronounce her D’s.) So what did we decide on? A watercolor painting of our little gymnast’s team, of course!
Only time will tell if this Coach Gift is a success with Miss Jodi, but I loved it so much, I kept going. With the help of two talented artists I now have THREE beautiful gifts: A team painting for my daughter’s coach, a teammate painting for my daughter’s friend, and an individual painting for her gymnastics idol (technically she has a hundred idols in the gym, but this one is for an extra special role model that is also an assistant coach to her team.)
They’re beautiful, right!?!? I’m willing to bet that any coach, grandparent, teammate, etc. would be thrilled with such a unique gift! The key of course is to get on it right away. Christmas may be more than a month away, but these talented artists only have but so many hours to paint such personalized gifts!! Although the above photo used as inspiration for the individual gymnast painting is from a professional photo shoot, any snapshot will work. So start scanning through the photos in your phone! Find anything good?
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
I stumbled upon Emily Stringfellow after a friend posted his family portrait, done by Emily, on Instagram. What first caught my attention was the flawless depiction of movement! After scanning through Emily’s instagram account I knew she’d be up for the challenge of painting gymnasts.
“I have loved art and drawing since I was young, but never consider it as more than a hobby until about a year ago. I painted some portraits for friends as gifts, they urged and encouraged me to do more, and then I ended up on etsy painting for people I don’t even know. It’s always fun to receive a photo from someone and turn it into a painting. In a way I get to know a family or a person through painting their portrait and feel honored that they are trusting me to create something that will be cherished and displayed in their home. I also really enjoy painting with watercolor. It is soothing and relaxing and I love the way that the water and paint flow on the paper and create unique color impressions once dry.” – Emily Stringfellow
I first discovered Elizabeth Dalton’s work in the home of a neighbor. I loved the abstract nature and simplicity of the piece and knew I wanted a painting that incorporated the same youthful charm for my daughter’s room, or really a painting of hers anywhere in the house!
“My love for art started in 7th grade when my long haired, grateful dead t-shirt wearing, art teacher made me think art was ‘cool’. I took several art history classes throughout my education and then backpacked through Europe in my 20s. Seeing all the different styles of art helped inspire me to find my own creative outlet. My favorite thing to paint right now are homes. I love all the emotion and sentiment that is tied up in a home. It’s always so much more than just a house. Plus it makes a great gift!” – Elizabeth Dalton
P.S. I’m enlisting Liz to paint our gym building for me – yes another gift up my sleeve.