Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Look, Up in the Sky - Portrait of my Son

"Look, Up In the Sky"
30 x 40
Oil on Canvas

This is my oldest son, Michael.  I have been contemplating his portrait for a long time.  The journey to get this done has been interesting to say the least.  Michael is an amazing person...future high school teacher, BBQ expert, blogger (see, and if you haven't friended him on FB and read his humorous status updates you are missing out.  That is not to mention how kind and supportive he is to his family and friends.  You can see him every second Saturday at the Workhouse Arts Center art walk with is lovely wife Marissa, supporting me and my artistic endeavors.  

While preparing to paint this portrait I called him over for a photo shoot.  I made him put on a suit jacket with one of his favorite tee shirts and pose in lots of different places.  Did I mention that months before I asked him to let his hair grow?  He has fabulous hair...I digress. 

I thought this was a good one...on the steps...looking scholarly...

An another with the books...he loves books.

Then amid a pile of books on a a leather couch with an old leather brief case that belonged to my father.  

Then leafing through the books...yes,  reading...he loves to read and this pose really shows his personality...

I even went so far as to begin a small 12 x 12 thumbnail sketch to prepare for the large portrait.  

Nothing seemed to express his personality...that larger than life...happy go lucky person who lives life to the fullest and is always smiling...that is when I realized that it is all about his personality.  It is not the is not the is the personality and no pose or scene is going to project the larger than life personality he possesses...SO...that is when I decided to paint his smiling exuberant expression with the caption "Look, Up in the Sky" to emphasize his love of comic books and specifically Superman.  

Now I know Paul Emsley was given lots of grief for painting a large portrait of Princess Kate's was said that you can't do that...blah, blah, blah.  I just know that I paint from my heart and this is what my heart sees.  

And now my humorous closing...I was planning this blogpost and was looking for the thumbnail sketch I began and could not find it anywhere.  I have never been accused of being neat and the sketch was hopelessly lost. I looked for days.  I finally decided to write the post and continue to look for the panel later.  Well, I found the 12 x 12 white panel on the floor, face down, right on top of my white 12 x 12 tiles in my studio.  It was placed perfectly and looked like a tile to the lady not wearing her glasses!  


  1. Your painting and the photographs show he's a fun, warm person. Great job Maria. I know he'll be very happy with it.

  2. Painted with love and a wonderful post. So fun when you can paint what you love and love what you paint!

  3. It shows when you love what (or who) you are painting, Maria. Beautiful, just beautiful, your painting and your post.

  4. Loved reading your delightful blog!
    He sounds like a great guy. Love the painting you did but I also think that sketch is a good start to another painting. - Dot

  5. Your son sounds like an incredible person and you certainly did a wonderful job on this portrait. I love what you started as well. I look forward to seeing it finished...your son will love it!!

  6. You nailed it. It's a wonderful portrait of Michael, I would rank it in the top 3...behind Meghan and Connor's, of


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