The thing I love about painting portraits of children is meeting their families and hearing their stories. Each child I paint is deeply loved and cherished by their parents, and that love is evident when I walk into their homes.
One family I recently had the pleasure of working with are the Oziers- parents Lindsey and David and kids, Eli, Amos, Ingrid, and baby Ezra. Such cute names, right? Lindsey and David knew of my work through friends, and when I met them I was touched by their warmth and openness. David shared with me his past struggle with addiction. Through the Lord's faithfulness, they are now celebrating five years of sobriety.
One of the reasons they wanted portraits of their kids was because they have entered a new season, one of sweetness and celebration.
I also found out that Lindsey and I share an affinity for the PBS Pride and Prejudice, with the one true Mr Darcy played by Colin Firth. I knew we would be friends;)
Before I begin a new portrait, I spend time with the child. I want to capture what makes them unique, so that they can know they are beautiful creations of God, loved and valued for who they are.
Eli, the oldest, is composed and reserved, but with a great sense of humor. He's kind and tender-hearted, and loves being at home with his family or reading books like Harry Potter and Narnia.
Amos, second in age to Eli, is basically his opposite. He's is wild and free-spirited, warm and outgoing. Everyone loves Amos.
And then there’s Ingrid - silly, athletic, and opinionated. She likes to sleep in the boys’ room, but has a motherly side when it comes to her baby brother Ezra, whom she calls "Ezzie."
I frequently ask the moms I work with about the lessons they've learned as parents for the new book I'm working on - a collection of wisdom from moms. One of the most important lessons Lindsey has learned is to remember that each part of her kids' lives is a season, a stage that will pass more quickly than you think. It makes the sleepless nights or temper tantrums much more manageable knowing that the difficult stages truly will pass, she says. But remembering that the sweet moments are seasons also, and to treasure them and steward them well.
Out of the difficult times in their lives, this family has entered a peaceful season of celebration.