There are moments in life far too precious to let slip by undocumented and too rich with meaning and emotion to be captured only in our minds. Visual Memoirs are works of art inspired by the connections and symbols that provide an explosive new translation of our personal experience.

Penny Farmer | 22” x 30” | acrylic on paper

Penny Farmer | 22” x 30” | acrylic on paper

Allie Farnham at Fortunate Farm in California.

Allie Farnham at Fortunate Farm in California.


In this painting lies the different stages of my life, each element evokes memories of past experiences. The White Bison, who is the main event of this mini-masterpiece, is my spirit animal of whom I have many connections with and really ties everything together. In many ways I am in the bison, and the surrounding elements are what helped shape me into the person I am today. The hermit crab is another representation of self, the protected, home loving, and every changing element of myself. As I outgrow one form of shell I begin to search and cultivate another, moving through life from shell to shell. 

The first stage of my life and most expansive shell is along the banks of the St. Croix in beautiful Minnesota. The Oak leaf is from my childhood backyard tree, we had a tire swing on this tree & it is a focal point of my mom's yard, many memories were made around this particular tree. The water represents both the Mississippi & St. Croix Rivers, I spent every summer of my childhood and young adult life on and around the water. The water along with the bees also tell the story that we are all connected.  My sister is the hummingbird dancing off to my side. My dad painted a beautiful wooden Wood Pecker for my grandma to have in her tree, this bird reminds me of them both.

The Great Blue Heron represents the time I spent at university in Winona Minnesota, Herons could be spotted daily along the Mississippi's banks. At this point I was beginning to shed, grow and expand out of and away from my Minnesota roots.

The mountains bring me home, while raised in the river valley and rolling plains, the mountains are where I belong. The changing leaves of the aspen tree reinforce my love for the mountains; the most beautiful hikes I have ever experienced were amidst the aspens.

The canoe holds my beloved dog Annie, who loved the water above all and was my adventure partner for many years and across many landscapes.

The cycles of the moon remind me that everything comes and goes, and that change is the only constant in life.

The Dahlias & California poppies represent my love for the Northern California Coast and for Fortunate Farm. The farm has acted as a launching pad for growth and development, and has brought me to where I sit today. Through the farm I was connected with one of my closest friends, who floats wistfully through this painting as dandelion seeds.

Finally, the quail egg represents the opportunities that lie ahead and where I currently land.

Prior to this painting, I had never commissioned a piece of art; Jessica made the somewhat intimidating process for a first timer, extremely easy. She made me feel confident and excited about my decision to have my idea brought to life! Jessica’s communications were not only prompt and clear, but also personalized and real, she walked me through the steps in her creative process & conceptualized my vision beautifully.
— Allie Farnham

How do I commission a Visual Memoir?

It’s easy! The hardest part is deciding which memories are the most important.

  1. Fill out a request form (scroll down).

  2. Connect with Jessica, learn what the process entails.

  3. Confirm the commission (50% payment due).

  4. Connect with Jessica to share your story (by phone, best over coffee, great during happy-hour; even better on a walk).

  5. Wait patiently as she works her illustrative magic.

  6. Approve layout, design, and color choices before Jessica begins the final version.

  7. Wait patiently as she works her painterly magic.

  8. Receive your very own painting (Payment due in Full).

See, piece of cake!

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Who is the Visual Memoir best suited for?

Glad you asked! Maybe you’d like to leave a legacy but the written memoir isn’t for you or you’d like a fun and creative family heirloom. Are you closing a chapter in your life and beginning a new? Maybe you or someone you know has been married for a half century and their relationship deserves to be remembered? Have you lost someone you love, and a little help in dealing with the grief would be appreciated? Be the life simple or complex, long or short, explosive or calm, happy or sad - an inherent value is present in all our experiences. Still not sure? Feel free to fill our the form below and ask any questions you have.


Jessica is always happy to accommodate any budget