Instant Ancestors

This gallery shows some sample copies of naif portraits, the last one is one I did of a modern lady- who lives in Maine, and loves roosters!

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Fair of Face is the business name under which I sell naif style portraits.

Fair of Face

PO Box 43

Lyndeboro’, NH 03082


I love the innocence and vibrancy of the period. This was in the early 19th century when Americans were beginning to feel good about themselves and wanted to have their likenesses preserved. They wanted to save their children’s youth, and show off their own prosperity.  Itinerant, and mostly self-trained artists, with little more than an ability to catch a likeness (anatomy was clearly optional),  traveled around painting portraits to fill this need. If you wanted a different (fancier) dress, they could paint one for you, and also include items of personal or symbolic significance (and so will I). For most homes built in the last century, this is a perfect accent. I have many examples to inspire you, and I am willing to match the child’s dress to your couch or drape swatch, or do whatever you like to make your portrait the way you want it. I see myself as the craftsman who is serving the vision of the artist: you (the interior designer).

While I can work from photos, I do warn people that when sitting for a painting (two or three hours at least for the face) one didn’t have the same grin one has on a favorite snapshot. Even children tended to be very solemn looking in paintings, although I find a live sitting gives a much better likeness than a photo. It somehow combines ALL the moments of the sitting. One of my favorites pictures to adapt, the Baby in the Red Chair, was probably intended to be painted awake, but I think she fell asleep, because it takes about one nap time to do a face. Thus, I believe photos often don’t translate well, by just adding in a costume. Another thing is that if you want to combine two people into one painting, which is quite possible, the light has to be coming from the same direction in the photos. If you’d like one, give me a call and I can talk you through making some great reference shots.

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