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Portrait Perfect

While I was working on a project for one of my clients, we started talking about this amazing portrait artist she had met and wanted to show me his book. At first glance, I thought it was a book of portrait photography, but then I realized artist David Larned ( created some of the most beautiful painted portraits I had ever seen. When the client told me that David will be moving to Houston, I immediately had to find out more information and contacted him!!!

I always enjoy getting to know and share the stories of other people who do what they love, and David Larned is certainly one of those people! Though he always painted, it wasn’t until college that David decided he wanted to make a life out of it. “I realized that art was the only class I was truly passionate about.  From that moment on, I never looked back.”

With his father in the Navy, David was accustomed to moving around the country every couple years as a child.  More geared to military bases than art museums, his family was in foreign territory when it came to their son’s proclivity for painting. “They didn’t know what was happening. Neither did I. But now that [my art career] has worked out, they take credit for it!”

David’s work focuses primarily on portraits, but also enjoys painting landscapes, and still life.  In a realistic, technical style reminiscent of 19th and 20th century European and American realists, his paintings explore what makes people and places so intensely beautiful.

After his first exhibition, he started receiving an overwhelming number of portrait requests and knew that portraiture was something to gravitate towards.

The first step in doing portraits is getting to know his subjects. In order to capture their personality in two-dimensional form, David relies on his intuition more than factual research. “Portrait painters should be able to sense who their subjects are without having to rely on their resume.” 

The exceptional quality is worth the investment. Not only do you get a beautiful work of art, but it becomes a family heirloom to be passed down through the generations.

The process begins with an hour-long photo session since only very rarely does he come across someone who wants to sit for the full 60+ hours.

Back at his studio, David usually works on a couple pieces at a time. Always wanting to be painting something, he’s found that this approach keeps him busy - while one piece is drying, he can turn his attention to the other.

David has had a few unusual requests. He once was commissioned to paint a recognizable portrait of a woman who didn’t want her face to show! Somehow, he found a way to get the back of her head to look just like her!

His favorite projects are the ones where the client lets him do his own thing! “They always get a better product for it!”

One perks of the profession that David never expected is the opportunity to work with an impressive array of celebrities, well-known businessmen and women, and other household names.  Born in New York and most recently based in Chester County outside of Philadelphia, the artist has done portraits for the who’s who of the tristate area…

And he is now getting into the Houston scene as well… As I was browsing through his portfolio, I was surprised to find the portrait of these clients of mine!!! Capturing their personalities, something so tough to do in painting portraits I was even more enchanted with his pieces!

Planning to move from their home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, David, his wife, and their 3 year-old daughter will be relocating to Houston! Though initially for work and adventure, he says, “watching our daughter thrive here has given it a much more meaningful purpose. We think [Houston] is the best place we know to raise our daughter.”  Raising all 3 of my kids here, I couldn’t agree more!!!

David’s wife, Sarah Lamb (, is also an immensely talented artist. With a body of work comprising mostly still life pieces, Sarah has exhibited in solo shows several times at Meredith Long & Company here in Houston, as well as at Spanierman Gallery in NY and John Pence Gallery in San Francisco among othe galleries.   She also does beautiful commission pieces!!!

Big thanks to David for sharing his story with me!  You can find out even more about David on his website (, and if you are interested in commissioning him to do a portrait of you or your loved ones, you can email him at

’Til next week!
xo Leslie


What's New at the Segreto Shop? 

These striking acrylic sconces are one of our favorite new items! We can custom order whichever style you like! 

Colorful bags for Spring! These perfect party purses come with a chain for wearing it long and a wristlet strap. They can also be customized with a monogram for a special gift for a friend or yourself!

It's almost warm enough to hit the beach! These pretty towels and beach bags are lightweight and easy to pack for any summer day! They also double as sarrongs, throws, or wraps!!!

’Til next week!
xo Leslie



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Reader Comments (2)

Thank you for sharing the work of this extremely talented artist. Better than photography!!


February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

I rarely comment but his work is remarkable... very talented.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarla

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