After I painted McKenzie and Parker’s cousin, Anna Page, my “instructions” were clear. I could not show bias. After all, this is family. Thus I “dove into” two portraits this past winter.
The photos of both girls appeared to have been taken with a flash, but McKenzie’s image still showed her color and facial features. My guess is the girls were in a restaurant with Parker’s arm around her younger sister. It must have been winter because Parker had a glove on. After gently extricating Parker’s arm I had fun getting to “know” McKenzie although the request came with one caveat. Change her clothes. The pink sweater came in another photo. I just had to be careful not to embarrass McKenzie as I executed her wardrobe change.
McKenzie 12x12 inches Alkyd on Canvas
Surely I was enough of an artist to be able to convert her yellowed lightly featured face into a portrait worthy of being hung in the Smithsonian. After all, Parker is pretty appealing. I’d just play with the hat. Now, being one who feels that a moment spent on a painting cannot be wasted, I felt committed. Yes, I convinced myself, I could do it. I tried every conversion and manipulation of her facial features I could figure out how to do on Photoshop, but still she looked like a somewhat jaundiced model. I think I painted Parker’s face six or seven times, but finally decided, if I can’t see it, I can’t paint it — unless it’s an abstraction. I just quit and mailed it off. Parker’s grandma says she loves it. She did have a good summer tan after all.
Parker"s Hat 12'16 inches Alkyd on Canvas