Commission a ‘Shelf-Portrait’

Celebrate your own story with a bespoke Shelf-Portrait painting:


dunbar_complete ‘1066 and All That’ for the Dunbar family ©rsw2017 oil on canvas 12×36″

         Celebrate the books that have made a difference in your life with a bespoke oil painting.
A truly original gift.
Commission a ‘Shelf-Portrait’ by Roo Waterhouse

Please take a look at some examples below of recent bespoke Shelf-Portrait commissions, and for further information contact Roo using the form at the bottom of this page


‘Properties of Matter’ ©rsw2018 50cm x 100cm oil on canvas Private Commission
”Public accomplishments and hidden secrets. Old Friends and loves lost. Simple jokes and profound truths. This bookshelf encapsulates half a century of the inside of my head. More intimate and more telling than any facial portrait could ever be.
As tromp d’oeil, only the larger than life scale gives the game away. Roo’s talent is to both abstract and reproduce the worn history of these much loved books. Working with Roo was a delight, her care and artistic judgement shining through at every step.”
Tim Hampson on bespoke commission ‘Properties of Matter’
‘The Story of Arizona’ private commission  12×16″ oil on canvas ©rsw2018


‘The Backbone of England’ private commission 12×24″ oil on canvas ©rsw2018

”Thank you so much, Roo. So touched and thrilled!”

‘October Sky’ for Mary  10×12″ oil on canvas ©rsw2018

”I am absolutely thrilled with it – I love it, love it, love it! From first seeing the magazine article about your work and loving the concept (and books), I knew I had to have my own.  I will have many happy hours looking at it and admiring your skill. I have a big smile on my face! ” Mary.

‘Things Can Only Get Better’ for Sharon  12×32″ oil on canvas ©rsw2018


‘If Only They Could Talk’ for Suzanne C.  12×24″ oil on canvas ©rsw2018

”I really love it, thank you so much it looks amazing!’ Suzanne


‘Catch 22’ for Carol  12×32″ oil on canvas ©rsw2016 

”Roo, I want you to know how delighted I am with my shelf portrait. It’s even better than I had hoped! It really is a portrait of my life, from books reminding me of my grandfather, parents, friends, school and university days, my working life and my children. Thank you so much!


‘Bean Trees’ for Sue  12×24″ oil on canvas ©rsw2015


‘Matilda’ ©rsw2016 10×12″ oil on canvas, 18th birthday commission



‘Forty Two’ ©rsw2017 oil on canvas Private commission



‘Bob’ rsw2014 ©12×12″ oil on canvas Private Commission


”A bookshelf is a physical representation of many aspects of a persons life. Cookery books, travel guides, self help books, DIY guides, trashy novels and Shakespeare can all give an insight into your passions, personality, aspirations and dreams. Books hold memories of the places you have visited and the people you have met. They tell the story of holidays taken, family meals cooked, languages learned and problems overcome. They can be funny, romantic, thrilling, scary, autobiographical, technical, historical, geographical……

Having a personalised, commissioned Shelf-Portrait is like having a portrait done of yourself, portraying your personality through the books you read.”

Which books would you choose? The possibilities are endless….”    Emily Stubbs, Holmfirth Art Market


Roo also thoroughly enjoys painting portraits of treasured household artefacts, like this old ‘Batterwhip’ which has been welded on to a builders scraper handle and has lived in Nancyanne’s kitchen drawer for as long as she can remember…



‘Batterwhip’ rsw2016 Private Commission


Please fill in the form below to contact me for more information and/or to join my mailing list. I aim to get back to you within 5 working days. Please do check your spam folder in case my reply has been side-tracked!










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