Pig’s Alley Commissioned Painting Collection

Paintings inspire me. For a long time, I’ve dreamt of offering clients a commissioned painting based on a photograph from our session. I’m delighted to share, this is the year I’ll be making this dream a reality.

Introducing … Maura Matthews, a modern impressionistic painter based in Wyndmoor, Pa. and owner of Pig’s Alley Art Studio in Flourtown, Pa. I recently met up with her to learn more and finalize our partnership to add a commissioned painting to one of the 2024 Collection options for photography clients.

Maura, I’m thrilled about our partnership. Can you tell me more about your approach to commissioned paintings?  

Some artists shy away from commissioned paintings but I love them. It’s a fun challenge to be given a photograph and the artistic license to turn it into an original oil painting in my style, which is vibrant and textured thanks to the palette knife I use to paint. I do my commissions based on photos, and I am very excited to be collaborating with you on this collection because yours have everything that makes for a successful painting – dynamic compositions, strong sense of light, and beautiful color palettes. Once the client provides me with a photo, I paint the image using my usual process – toning the canvas a medium value (usually with red acrylic paint) so I can see the darks/lights more accurately; then outlining the composition in oils with a dark color; and filling in the values in patches of color that come together in what I refer to as a “modern impressionistic” version of the source image.

Is there a certain kind of photograph you feel most inspired to paint? 

Yes! I love photographs that capture moments in time so my favorite subjects to paint are ones that celebrate a special time, place and/or pose – like my son picking apples or daughters in a wading pool. My children are much older than they were in these paintings based on family photos, but the paintings keep the memories fresh. If the photos involve pathways and dappled light, all the better! My paintings tend to have an “energetic” feel, and so I gravitate to diagonals and movements that draw the viewer in and make the subject come alive.

How did the Pigs Alley Gallery get started and tell us more about your classes? 

The Pigs Alley Gallery started as an idea when I lived on Pigs Alley in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. I envisioned a combination art gallery/painting studio that first came about as a virtual gallery when I moved from Fairmount to Wyndmoor and registered the URL Three kids and 11 years later, I opened a brick-and-mortar storefront in Flourtown, where I’ve been thrilled to display my paintings and teach art classes for the past 7 years. My tagline is “where creativity + community meet” and it’s been so rewarding to nurture a creative community of artists of all ages. I offer after-school painting classes for children in grades 1-5 and “teens” in grades 6-8, and oil painting classes for adults, as well as workshops, paint nights and birthday parties. More than anything, I love to see what happens to a blank page or canvas when people get a brush and some paints in their hands! 

What do you find inspiring right now? 

Right now I am very inspired by the people in my classes! Sometimes young or new artists will do things that are so original and so successful, giving me ideas for how I can push my own paintings further. I love to go for walks – especially on the Wissahickon and along Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill – that give me ideas for things I’d like to paint. I like to paint what’s “in season” at the time, so right now I’m finding beauty and inspiration in winter things – bare trees, snow scenes, still lifes and interiors. The more you look, the more you see, and that’s why painting continues to be exciting for me.

Thank you, Maura! Clients can learn more about having one of the photographs from your session painted by Maura during the booking process. Let’s create a family heirloom!

Contact me to get the ball rolling. 



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