I get to know the kids I paint. I talk to them, hang out with them, and play with them. I'm constantly making mental notes: What's his personality like? What's his favorite thing to do? Where does he like to hang out? This past weekend I took pictures of Tanner, Cannon and Walter Sherman. Triplet boys. I'm in the process of painting three full-length oil portraits of them. When I met with their mom Deede last fall, she showed me all of their baby pictures and told me how each boy was different from their brothers. She has a bumper sticker that says, "Support wildlife. Raise triplets." I found out what that meant on Saturday.
The boys and I had a blast. They took me to all their favorite play spots in the back yard, and ran around while I photographed them in their natural environment. I'm like a wildlife photographer. We went up to their play room, explored the giant magnolia tree, and climbed on the swing set.
Walter is more serious and reserved. The silent leader. Cannon is confident and friendly, with a goofy side, and Tanner is just a sweetheart, with this raspy voice that makes you want to melt. Every five seconds it was, Kate! Take a picture of me doing this. They especially loved the mid-air shots falling from trees. Perfect for a portrait, of course;)
I just loved getting to hang out with these precious boys and discovering their individual personalities. The interaction I have with the children I paint is so important to my work. Plus it's just fun.