Commissioning Custom Art That Includes A Loved One's Cremated Remains

Your loved one may have chosen funeral home cremation services upon their death. If you're keen on the idea of your deceased family member's ashes having some staying power, you may favor keeping them in the house instead of scattering them in nature. There are a number of ways to keep the remains in your home, and one option is to commission an artist to mix some of the remains into his or her paint and then paint you a custom piece. A project of this nature is obviously something that you don't want to take lightly, so it's important to not only speak with your family members about this, but to also partner with the right artist. Here are some considerations.

Pick An Appropriate Image

You certainly want to be selective about the type of art that you commission. Once the artist has mixed the cremated remains into the paint and produced the work, there's no going back — so you want to be certain that you'll be happy with the finished product. One approach is to hire someone who is skilled at painting portraits. Provided that you have a clear portrait-style image of your deceased loved one that you can give the artist, he or she can replicate the image as a painting. A scenic landscape might alternatively be appropriate if the deceased person loved the outdoors.

Find The Right Location

Given the importance of this piece of art, you also want to give some thought to where it hangs. If you have siblings, there may be multiple houses to consider. While you could always have the artist make multiple paintings, one may be sufficient. In this case, you'll want the art to hang where it looks best. For example, if one family member has a large home with a luxurious living room, having the painting hang above the mantle might be appropriate. You may also wish to consider sharing the painting — perhaps having it spend a year at a time in each family member's home.

Have An Unveiling

It can be nice to make a formal unveiling of the painting, given how important it will be to your family. One idea is to have one family member pick it up, and then take it to a chosen location, set it on an easel, and then drape a dark cloth over it. You may wish to have a small ceremony — perhaps some of the family members can share some favorite memories of their deceased loved one, and you can play his or her favorite music on the stereo. Then, you can pull the cloth off the art so that everyone sees it for the first time together.