Tuesday, August 9, 2016


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

Parker proved to be a greater challenge.  Her grandma sent me the image because it was her favorite photo of her granddaughter.  It was the hat — thus the title, “Parker’s Hat.”  Now, I hate to be critical, but my biased analysis suggests the image I received was a photograph taken with an iPhone of an already printed photograph, then sent to me via email.  Yikes!  I said no.  Then, one day, feeling totally uninspired I sat down in front of my easel and stared at Parker.  

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

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