Sunday, June 15, 2008

Painting: A Portrait of Audrey for Father's Day

When I gave David the Zoe portrait for Christmas I told him I thought it was a safe subject--he loves the dog, so he had to at least like the idea of a portrait of her. He said something about, "but I'd like a portrait of Audrey too..." So it was fixed. I was determined to paint one (put it on the "to paint" list for 2008). Especially since capturing Zoe's likeness felt about like doing a person portrait.
This portrait of Audrey is about life sized and it was such an amazing experience to paint it when I worked on it every week. It was like a meditation on my daughter for a few hours. Time in which I got to observe her beauty and appreciate the gift she is in my life. I love her and I can't wait to paint her more. I can imagine all kinds of compositions! This portrait is based on a photo I took of Audrey in our backyard. I love it because she had just been walking a few weeks and to me she appears to be rounding the corner from baby to little girl.
Audrey often has this kind of serious expression, so it captures her personality. This was taken last summer so now her hair is darker and she of course looks a bit older. It was interesting because as I was working on this portrait it seemed I sometimes painted her as I see her now rather than being as loyal to the photograph.

I chose purple for the sash on this dress because it is Audrey's favorite color.

A few times during the painting process I would pull this out and ask Audrey what she thought. The first time she immediately recognized herself so I thought I was on the right track.

When David opened this he didn't seem very surprised. I guess he figured I would paint Audrey. I felt it a strong compliment when he immediately started talking about where we should hang it. It has a prominent spot in our living room.

It's nice to have finished something I feel good about. I have decided that portraits are still my love. I enjoy all kinds of subjects but portaits are the most rewarding, in part I think because they are the most challenging.

It was so much fun to have my family come over to celebrate Father's Day and have Audrey show them her picture. She seems pretty excited about it hanging there on the wall.

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