Brandes Portraits

A Family's Legacy in Art for the Home

Category: Annoucements


The holidays are a wonderful time to gather the family together, and what an excellent time to celebrate your family’s legacy.  Whether you choose to do your portrait over the holidays, or in 2018, we have an incredible opportunity for you.

For a very brief time, from now through Thursday, December 21, we are offering a 50% reduction in pricing on our gift certificates.  The certificates come in 4 amounts: $250, $500, $750 and $1000.  The fine print is this: these certificates are for new camera studies, are limited to $2000 (an investment of $1000), and may not be combined with any other offer of the studio.

Just call the studio, and we will get the certificate to you ASAP so it can be under the tree on Christmas Day.

805-367-8100 or 949-515-5140

You can also email Mark at

What I did on my summer vacation!


TLF Image

Earlier this summer I went to camp! Actually, I was a counselor at a camp at Irvine Lake, here in Orange County that was sponsored by the Teen Leadership Foundation… The Teen Leadership Camps are focused on teen age foster kids who live locally.

The majority of the counselors at the camp were from Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa (April and I actually attend the Rock Harbor in Mission Viejo). All of the Rock Harbor churches have a pretty young congregation… I think the average age is about 30 or so. Needless to say, I was about double the age of most of the counselors at the camp!

I had the time of my life! I felt like I was in college again. I was partnered with a 13 year old young man named Abe, who lives in a group home in Santa Ana, and we really hit it off. Of course, it was more like a black kid going to camp with some random white grandpa type…but hey, I did the high-ropes course and the zip line like a champ.

Abe and I slept in a bunkhouse with about 20 other guys…just like in jr. high! I was willing to take the top bunk, but Abe wanted it. Considering how warm it was, I’m glad he ended up there, and he slept like you would expect for a teen. Given the amount of candy he brought with him, I was amazed! Seriously, there’s a 7-11 store somewhere in Santa Ana that had to place a double order of Skittles after Abe hit them up.

At the end of the weekend, we were all pretty exhausted. Everybody gave out a lot of hugs, and yes, there were a few tears shed…oh, wait, maybe that was just me.

Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of countries on short-term mission trips…Russia, Cuba, Peru and most recently, Uganda. You would think that my heart would break for all the people in those foreign countries, but you know, by the end of this camp weekend, I was wrecked. And it happened just 15 miles from my home!

My heart breaks for these foster kids who never ever deserved to end up in the place they’ve landed. Right now, I’m excited about getting approved through Olive Crest to mentor Abe. If you want to join on an adventure that could break your heart too, then check out . Call me if you want more info.

We’re in 805 Living Magazine!

As you probably know, Mark recently published the book Grand Prix Hopes as a fundraiser for RideOn Therapeutic Horsemanship. Mark and I thought that’d he have a little more free time now that it is done. Alas, he is still working 6 days a week.

We thought it would be fun for me to blog on Mark’ behalf until things calm down around here. Besides, I love bringing a different viewpoint to Mark’s creative story. So, here we go…

Topping my list for great – no ,incredible – news is the feature story you’ll find in the 805 Living Magazine this month titled Giving Back. It begins with a full page photograph of one of Mark’s equestrian paintings, and mentions the new book we keep talking about.

We are so grateful to Lynne Andujar and 805 Living for this article, and also for making it a priority to feature a charitable cause in almost every issue.

Mark worked so hard on the book, and it was really wonderful to open the magazine to page 23 and see it!

That’s all for now,
April Brandes



My upcoming book signing….

I just got the great news that my book Grand Prix Hopes, will be back from the publisher in time for a book signing I’ll be doing at RideOn Therapeutic Horsemanship’s fundraiser in a few weeks.

When I first heard that riding a horse could help a child’s physical problems, I thought that sounded a little unrealistic.  But, having seen what’s  happening at RideOn with my own eyes, I was amazed.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more passionate group of people!  Hippotherapy has a huge influence in improving balance, communication and behavior for people with all sorts of disabilities.

It’s been a privilege to help RideOn through this coffee table book project. The book features paintings of premier Olympic champions, and young riders who aspire to similar success.

The signing is part of the September 24th fundraiser that will be held at Rancho de Caballos, which is Charlie Chan’s old property in Hidden Valley.  Olympic gold medalist Will Simpson and several other featured riders will be there to sign the book with me.

If you’d like to come to the event, it is $150 a person, and is worth every penny!    Hope to see you there.  Here’s the link to get your ticket…


Help! We Need a Name

Everyone knows that April and I are over the moon to have a granddaughter. So you can imagine how much it means to us to have our own painting of our now multi-generational family.

This painting is in an entirely new style but we haven’t come up with an incredible name for these new images . That’s where you come in. We are looking for a name that expresses both independent spirit and connectedness. These portraits give the happy confidence of being all that you naturally are.

So we are having a little competition. Send us your name ideas on our Facebook Page or in this blog’s comments, and if we ultimately choose yours, we’ll give you a 15″ painting done in this great new style! Hurry. We need to decide by July 15th.

© 2017 Brandes Portraits

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑