Laurel, Age 5, Oil on canvas

Laurel, Age 5, Oil on canvas

Some portrait artists work from photographs others have taken, but I don't. Getting to know the child I paint is a very important part of my process, and I couldn't create a portrait without it.

Actually, it's my mission to help children feel loved and valued for who they are by capturing their personality. I can't do that if I haven't met them!

I recently completed this commission for a family in Memphis of their daughter, Laurel. Laurel is five years old and the youngest in her family. She's sweet, thoughtful, and polite. It's clear she was ready to have her portrait hang alongside her brother and sister's:)

My time spent with the children helps make the portrait better. Plus, it's just more fun. When I go back to my studio to paint, I draw on my experience of being with that child plus the pictures I take. It makes for a richer, more life-like portrait.