I Need to Tell You Something: My Experience with PaintYourLife.com

“I need to tell you something” I said as we laid in bed at the end of another routinely long day of parenthood, wedding planning, our corporate and side hustles, and dog-momming. My amazingly loving, patient, kind, generous, nurturing, go-with-the-flow fiancé beside me was almost asleep when I couldn’t hold this news in any longer. “I ordered an oil painting today, of Zephyr and me. It’s two feet by three feet, and it’s going to be amazing! I’m so excited!” I continued.

She rolled over with an intention, her eyes popped open, her face suddenly wide awake again … “You WHAT?” So I repeated it, in an even more excited but slightly convincing it’s-going-to-be-great tone. That tone did not help convince her of the greatness soon to hang in our home in that moment. “Why did you think this was a good idea to choose without talking to me first? We decide everything together, especially when it’s something this big and will be on display in our home! Where do you plan on hanging this thing, in the garage?”

Whoops! In that moment, I knew I should have been more inclusive and definitely should have consulted her on the inputs for it. But I was so sure of my choice of photo and size, I stuck to my heart of hearts, knowing she’d come to love it, once she saw its magnificence.

“We can’t talk about this right now. You can’t just drop a bombshell on me like this when I’m trying to sleep. Let’s talk about this another day, hopefully you can change it to a different photo and size.”

Yikes. This was the first time she’s ever said anything of that nature, as her style is to always talk about everything in the moment. Did I do a bad? The choice was made, both on the website and in my heart. The plan was in motion. I laid there a while longer, too excited to sleep, wondering why she wasn’t as excited as I was about this acquisition, soon to be in our posession and hanging forever on display in our home!

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Zephyr & me, paintyourlife.com

When I selected the photo of us to be painted, the thoughts that raced excitedly through my mind were “oh em gee! Wealthy people have oil paintings of themselves and their pets in their beautiful, palatial homes, this will be something that propels us forward into the next phase of wealth and independence!” and “Tosca is going to be so excited when I show her this!” and “Zephyr has been my world for almost 12 years, what better way to celebrate her twelfth birthday a bit early than with a two feet by three feet oil painting that we will have forever and ever!” and “I wonder where she’ll decide to hang this in our home, since she is the main one in charge of decorating?”

As the next few days went on, I brought it up a few more times, and she was certain we would give this away as a gift. Or be able to convince the artist we needed to change the photo and size that was already in the works. I stood firmly in my Taurus stubbornness and steadfast way, knowing that I’d made the right decision, she just hadn’t realized it yet.

“We can’t talk about this everyday” she replied a few days after the initial drop of news. “We have wedding planning and too much going on to talk about this ginormous painting you got for us everyday! It’s going to be hanging in our home soon enough! We’ll deal with it then!”


When we got it in a few days ago and opened it, she was far more into it than when I first told her what I’d done for us. “It’s not that bad, it’s actually kind of cute, since it’s you and Zephyr. How could I hate it?” Whew. We’re okay now, and over the hump and onto the path of choosing the right frame color for it.

The Process for PaintYourLife.com

  1. Select and upload the photo you want painted along with a few reference photos if desired. I uploaded the one painted above, along with a few others of Zephyr for reference, as I wanted her spirit and beauty captured as accurately as possible. The artist totally did that, and I am forever grateful.
  2. Once the photo and information are submitted, the artist will make any necessary edits to the main photo to be painted. For example, there was a Starbucks cup on the table in the original version of photo I submitted to be painted, and it was edited out for aesthetics. I received a notification when the change was made and approved the new version quickly and easily.
  3. Updates are shared with the progress of each step, you get an email and/or text message to review and approve, or request changes before the finalization and shipment. I was quite pleased with mine as it was painted, so requested no changes. Approval felt good.
  4. Since I didn’t select a frame at the beginning of the process, I received a notification when the painting was near completion to select a frame. I browsed through the options again, but couldn’t decide on one, so opted to have the painting rolled for shipment, and we’ll get it framed locally when we decide where it’ll be hung in our home. This is a big commitment, for a big painting and it’s not a decision I felt confident in making without Tosca being fully onboard … I learned my lesson after dropping the bombshell on her about the photo selection and size I chose without her input! (Key relationship lesson here: don’t make the same mistake twice.)
  5. I received a shipping notification and it was delivered in the blink of an eye! Since I got the rolled option, it came in a hard plastic tube, taped up and very protective of the inside canvas. You can watch the reveal video here!
  6. As mentioned above, I didn’t choose a frame prior to shipping, so this is an additional step for us. We’ll decide where it’ll hang in our home, and choose the frame accordingly, based on the colors in the painting and furniture in the sitting room. I’m pleased as pie with just the oil painting on canvas, but the final framed piece will be stunning.

For custom, one of a kind artwork, the process for this is so insanely simplified and the time from order to delivery is mindblowingly fast. I’d never thought having an oil painting of my dog was within financial grasp, but the pricing structure, especially when combined with incentives, is easily within reach for many. In movies and television shows, oil paintings are hung on the walls of the extremely wealth, as a symbol of stature and class. Now, in our suburban middle class home, one will hang too. Thanks to a friend sharing this website with me, we now have it forever, and I hope this makes a difference to you and your loved ones, too.

Whether you’re searching for a gift for someone else, or one for yourself, this is for you. Treat yourself to a custom piece of artwork of your beloved pet and enjoy the brilliance of the masterpiece you receive.

Live Good, Live Well

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