January 3, 2012

Creating a portrait of a child

Immersed in Her Own World
Sometimes people ask me how I choose my images.  For me. it's a highly personal and evolutionary process.  

For example, with "Immersed in Her Own World" I started out thinking about creating a toy landscape for a class I was sitting in on.  The teacher wanted us to use toys to create somewhat disturbing images, but I had a general idea of creating a softer, gentler image.  So, I visited with friends and got some wonderful pictures of their baby girl's favorite toys. But, I couldn't resist also snapping a number of images of the toy's adorable owner.  Then, when I went to compose my landscape, her image wouldn't let me go, so the landscape evolved to include her. . . and then grew into a series exploring how children's experience of their toys differ from what grown-ups might expect.   

Here's a poem I wrote while painting that captures why I chose image as part of my series:

Beloved child, fruit of my loins.
I awaited your arrival with such anticipation.
I envisioned sharing with you the things that brought me joy . . .
in my childhood, and during my child-like moments.
I so looked forward to experiencing anew the pleasure of those simple things 
as I saw them through your eyes. 
In our excitement, we who loved you, surrounded your little body with whirl of soft textures, 
and pastel and jewel-toned offerings to show you, “you are loved.”      
I never wondered if their number was more of a burden to you than a joy,  
but then I saw you with your sweet little train, 
so totally focused on that one bright thing, 
and I doubted.
But moments later, my heart was calmed when you focused 
your laser attention and love on another thing. 
That became your world for a moment, and then another thing did, 
and then me.  


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging. Love your work and hope to read much more about your process and your art.

  2. Very nice work. I like the poem too. I saw your tutorial on EE and decided to look at your blog. I do paint the sides of my canvases, somewhat like #3 but less detailed. I wonder about the use of tape (#1). I think that the tape would come off after a time and leave the canvas edge sticky. I know others who paint the edges black after finishing the painting. Is there really an advantage one way or another?

  3. Dear Danni and Arteyaves,

    Thanks for the nice comments on this little portrait. Arteyaves, yes, there are advantages of one way of finishing edges of a painting over another. While using the tape is the fastest way, I think painting the sides black is definitely a better thing to do in the long run. As you pointed out, tape will eventually start coming off -- particularly in hot, humid weather or very cold temperatures.. If the tapes does start to come off, then either you will want to replace that tape with more tape, or you'll want to remove it. In the later instance,I wouldn't be surprised if some residue from the tape will be left. Then, youll have to clean it with some sort of solvent before painting the area -- or just covering it with a frame. I'm so sorry for taking a while for doing this.

    I will work to be better at responding more quickly. -- Tracy


I look forward to your thoughts and comments.