I had my daughter Paris stand in this dress and twirl as I took rapid shots of her. This was the perfect pose for the painting because I wanted to capture free motion, which gives the angel a sense of freedom and a love of life, sort of a childish innocence.
This is a commission for some friends, a portrait of their son who died in open heart surgery. He was born with some problems in his heart, and the surgery was meant to fix those problems. He was a very special boy, loved and remembered by many of those who came in contact with him.
To really customize the painting for my friends, I used the toys he played with as the subjects for the wallpaper background. Zach has a little sister who was the same age that he was when he died at the time I painted the portrait, so we dressed her in his sunday clothes and had her pose for the portrait. I then used pictures of Zach to paint him in her place.
After I finished the painting, I asked my friends if they felt like I had captured their son, to which they replied: "well, yes, except that during life he was sick so his skin tones never looked as rosy and alive as you have painted them". I took this as a compliment and thought it was a neat thing to be able to paint a healthy portrait of their son for them, a portrait of the way he looks now.
I had the opportunity recently to do a portait of a family that is close to my heart. During the photoshoot for the painting, I took a few random shots of the kids, and this painting resulted.
I was excited by the childish innocence in Justin’s face and his pose on the bike. It seemed to me a perfect example of carefree childhood, something I love to see in little children who are unencumbered with the day-to-day challenges I face as an adult.
Justin is to me an example of being someone who loves his life, children love life. I look at this work of art and it reminds me to stop and take time each day to reflect on my own life and ask myself if I am allowing things to get to complicated. When I see Justin I am encouraged to look for my own inner child.
With more than a decade since the last Solemn Assembly, I decided to try my newly honed portrait skills on a portrait of the new LDS Prophet, Thomas S. Monson.
Here is a man of love, courage and conviction. A man who is a good example to those around him as well as millions throughout the world. I wanted to capture some of what I see in him. I searched many hours through videos and photographs until I finally found the perfect pose.
I feel that this portrait effectively captures his character, the smile is not posed, it is natural, he has what I call, the "Monson Tilt", which is characteristic of President Monson, and his eyes are powerful, as would be any man who has been called by God to be a prophet, yet his face is kindly, depicting the love he has for those around him.
I love and admire President Monson, and I am thankful for the talents which allow me to paint such a wonderful portrait of a great man.