Before I became an artist I became a mother. As most young moms, I was continually moved by the stunning beauty and delicateness of my babies.. My first daughter was born with a thick mop of loose brown curls the color of milk chocolate. I could stare at her for hours...and, when I could, I did. I felt a longing to capture her fine eyelids and thick eyelashes as she slept, or the roundness of her chubby hand as she reached out to touch her pastel elephant rattle that we named Bob. I started sketching her. Over and over again. I had to. Sketching her somehow slowed time down. My efforts to capture the sweet innocence, the curiosity, the joyful exuberance of life that she had began a lifetime pursuit of capturing childhood. Childhood became my subject matter in art for almost everything I sketched. I really couldn’t help it.
I started working with watercolors several years later and we added three more daughters to our family. Some of my earliest memories of each of my girls are more vibrant because of the drawings or paintings I’ve created of them. Remembering moments is easier for most people when they have a visual reminder.
This subject matter for my art is emotional and joyful for me. When I paint a commissioned watercolor of someone else’s child, I work to get that same joy and emotion that they feel about their little ones as I feel and have felt for mine. I ask questions about how they feel when they look at their children, what makes their heart happy when they think about their child, and what special characteristics makes their child amazing. I love the process of discovering the love parents have for their children. It’s so satisfying to see how they react once their art pieces are completed. They relive that same unique joy and wonder from loving a child.
Over the years of pursuing creativity through art, I find that the most fulfilling part of painting this subject matter of childhood helps me to connect with wonderful families and feel inspired by their love for their children. A special occasion or event, like the harp camp where I was commissioned to paint the image above, is a great opportunity for families to capture photos of their child doing something they love. Other events might include baseball games, visits to the beach, dance concerts, a nature hike, and simply playing at the playground or with a friend. I’m happy to come out and take photos for a commission. If you have an image you’d like made into a watercolor, reach out to commissioning me.