Monday, October 17, 2011

Carpenter's Hands

Are some subjects too hard to paint?

I'd heard that it's extremely hard to paint those you love the most.  It stops being just an image to convey and becomes an emotional process.  I've found that to be true. I'd wanted to paint my parents, and I searched for the right reference photograph. But, with each one I chose, I'd get a little choked up.  It's hard to look objectively at images that bring so many emotions to the surface.  
So, I gave up... sort of...
This a "portrait" of my dad.  This image probably tells more about him than any picture of his face would show.
I also painted one of my  Mother's Hands.  I think these tell my parents' stories as well as any traditional portrait.  
There was still a bit of that emotion during this process.  I didn't want to over emphasize age spots, wrinkles, and wear and tear of the decades; however, I did want to honor the years of their lives and be true to realism. 

I believe I succeeded with these two "portraits." 


  1. Oh yes, Helen, these are beautiful tributes and they portray your special parents so characteristically! I havent seen a more beautiful hands painting than these!

  2. Thank you for these kind words. When we stop to really notice, hands to say a lot about a person, don't they.