The last painting I completed was this past fall. It was a portrait of my 15yr old niece, Danielle wearing a fuzzy hat. It was a reminder of our vacation we took together in 2006. During our road trip from Florida to Kansas, we stayed in Memphis. We spent a day on Beale Street and stopped at the famous drugstore Schwabs where we had a hilarious time trying on different hats. For some reason, the fuzzy hat kind of represented her fun personality and it ended up being my favorite.
I was just messing around in the scetchbook last summer and while zoning out to the telly, I sketched a portrait of her in that fuzzy hat. It was the first time I had actually sketched someone I knew.
She was not having a good year this past year, so I decided to paint her portrait in oil using this sketch as my basis. Now, I have never, ever painted a person. I stick to still lifes, landscapes, wildlife and abstracts.
It was pretty daunting. And the problem is that I am a perfectionist with non-professional skill. That combo is not good if you have a limited amount of time to get something finished. I worked on it and worked on it right up until just a couple of weeks before Christmas. I finally just had to walk away from it and say it was the best I could do.
When I presented it to her while we were both home for Christmas, she seemed to really love it. That made me realize that I had done what I wanted to do and that was to make her feel special and loved...because she is.
It may not have been the best, but it was made by me, for her and with a lot of love. And that counts for something. But, I definately won't be doing another portrait anytime soon!