I began painting as a child. Art and poetry were mediums that greatly helped me during difficult times in my life. Firstly with the loss of my father when I was 12 and then in 2004 I sadly lost my own daughter due to a rare condition. I graduated at university with a 1st Class degree, but didn't quite know where I wanted to go in life.
Fast forward to now, and after witnessing my best friend lose her own daughter a few years ago, I felt compelled to do something for her and her husband. This is when I turned from regular portraits to creating the most precious piece ever. It was a wonderful experience to create the portrait of their daughter, but also inspired me to do more for other families. Which is where Butterfly Portraits was born.
What is Butterfly Portraits?
Unlike regular commissioned art, I will be painting portraits for bereaved parents of their little angels. Losing a child can be one of the most difficult and traumatic events in a person's lifetime, but we all deal with grief in different ways. My aim is to provide a memorial portrait for families completely free of charge, with the help and support of generous people like you. Butterfly Portraits are accessible to all who have experienced the sad loss of a child.
Project so far...
So far, I have been lucky enough to speak with Brian House Children's Hospice and hope to work with them in the future to offer portraits to families who would like one in memory of their child.
I have also managed to secure a beautiful art studio outside Lancaster Castle with Luneside Studios, with thanks to the artist Tony Birchwood fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, where I will be doing much of my work.
Where will your generous donations go?
Once we have (hopefully) crowdfunded the projected, your donations will be used to pay for the studio space, materials such as canvases, paint, tools and other materials specific to creating the paintings. It will also help to pay for marketing materials such as flyers which will be given to families following the loss of their child. Here you can see what it might look like...
It will also pay for admin related costs, such as letters, communicating with parents, organisations and hospices as well as the time to create bid applications for grants and other funding. It will also enable me to use my time to create these beautiful portraits.
So as you can see, that's a tall order for just £1000. This money is therefore estimated to get the project off the ground and help to create 2-3 portraits.
What are the plans for the future?
I hope that whilst we can collectively get the project off the ground, Butterfly Portraits will be able to secure further funding through other organisations or crowdfunding initiatives.
Sadly, if we can't secure the funding Butterfly Portraits will not be able to continue as I simply don't have the means to run it without the help and support of people like yourself.
Where can I follow Butterfly Portraits?
You can visit the Butterfly Portraits landing page here, and I hope to get a dedicated website created in the future. You can also follow me on twitter @sldobson and contact me if you have any questions regarding the project.