When I was young my dad started a tradition of reading to the family after dinner. We read Lord of the Rings, The Yearling (tear-jerker), Where the Red Fern Grows (serious tear-jerker), The Education of Little Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Huckleberry Finn, Watership Down, and the Book of Virtues, to name a few.
I didn’t appreciate it then, but the times I spent on the living room floor listening to my dad have become some of my most cherished memories. The books we read shaped my experiences and have added richness and meaning to life. During this time, my dad instilled in me a love for reading that I have carried with me to this day.
Our family reading time deepened our bonds-we laughed, cried, and learned life lessons together, whether we were reading about talking rabbits, or hobbits, or a little boy being taught the ways of life by his Cherokee grandpa. In an age of T.V. and social media, these moments stand out as simple and rich; all we needed were the books, my dad's voice, and an imagination. Nothing fancy.
I feel privileged to help people cultivate deeper and more meaningful experiences with their children through my art, the same way these books did for me and my family. Each portrait is a testament of love between and parent and child, one that I hope adds richness to their relationship. I encourage and promote family values because at the end of the day that's what life is all about- love and togetherness.