These two sweets, Jacob & Charlotte (Charlie), are the precious grandkids of a very proud grandma, Debbie. She commissioned me to paint this photo because it was taken by their Father during a sweet moment on vacation at the outer banks. (Mom Jeanine and dad Shaun are hard workers but set aside special time to really enjoy their kids. Shaun describes how this image makes him feel with these words "I feel blessed I get to spend time with my children outside doing things we love.")
Since the background was layers of wet sand, I let the details of that fade away and really set my efforts on capturing their little faces. I love their expressions as they are concentrating on what I imagine to be a big lake or ocean. Actually, my husband pointed out that that since whatever they are looking at is "off-screen", or out of the composition, we get to watch their bodies and countenances focus on something that we must imagine into existence :) I thought that was really interesting.
Debbie describes her grandkids as very close. Charlie has always loved being around her big brother, who has always patiently received her company. I love how you can see this in the photo as Charley is leaned in closely to her brother on the chair. Together they are sharing this bonding experience. In reality, I am sure there was a lot of activity going on, since kids tend to move around a lot, but in the stillness of one camera frame, this moment of quiet togetherness is preserved in a painting forever. Thank you Debbie for hiring me to work on this piece! It was a pleasure :)