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The Girl, and the Kids


Partially due to my back, which is slowly recovering, and partially due to a sense that I was not quite ready to paint her, I've held off from finishing my current painting. To the left is the girl, who I think is the key to getting this painting right.

It occurred to me yesterday that she might be a bit more interesting if I turned her head to look at the camera, so to speak. Would her look be curiosity? Disdain? Bliss?

So now to find some images to serve as the model for turning her head... and then hopefully I can finish the painting this weekend.

Other than my paintings, I don't write much about my personal life here. I'm divorced twice - my three kids from my first marriage live with me. The two sons from my second marriage live with Jackie and usually I see "the boys" several times a week. I have all 5 kids this weekend. Jackie recently got a new job with hospice, which requires her to be on call all weekend once or twice a month. So the boys stay with me while she is on call. Which requires me to have chocolate milk on hand - Jacob, my youngest, insists on chocolate milk.

I like painting while Jacob is here. I bought him an art set and sometimes, we paint or draw together. His brother, Austin, is more inclined to play NCAA Football on the XBox. Or to throw me the Nerf football throughout the day in the living room. When the weather is better, I like to go for walks with the kids. One or two will always tag along, usually Aaron (middle son) and almost always Jacob.

That's me with the older three. My daughter, who is now several years older than in the photo above, is off to college this fall. I asked her recently if she would have changed anything about how I've raised her. "Yes," she said. "You should have made me save more of my money."

Parenting is an odd balance of knowing when to micromanage and when to be hands-off. The struggle of independence and dependence... of Parenting and being a parent.

"Would you have learned anything, if I had?" I asked her. "You're quite stubborn."
"Probably not," she replied, "but I would have had more money."

Maybe I'll try to put a bit of my daughter into the girl in the painting.

ETC: Now that my daughter is awake for the day and has heard my idea about changing the girl, her response is: NO. "It's not real. Just paint her." She has a good sense about these things. "No one in the picture is looking at the camera. Like you're not there at all. Why should she look at the camera?"

Maybe I want to change the girl because I'm a chicken shit about painting her and getting her wrong.



Read the whole story of "Trafalgar Pigeons"
Tags: painting | watercolor | parenting
by Brett Rogers, 1/22/2005 12:00:00 AM


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