Andrew and I, 2013-14 Oil on linen, diptych in two panels (48 x 36 inches, each) 48 × 72 inches
Andrew and I, 2013-14
Oil on linen, diptych in two panels (48 x 36 inches, each) 48 × 72 inches

Andrew and I is based on our respective Mom’s favorite childhood pictures of my husband and myself, taken about age 4. We’ve been together for 23 years now, and born just 4 days apart from one another, so romantically we seemed destined to be with one another, and its always struck me how these images easily go together, with Andrew standing on a "stairway to heaven" looking in my direction, with me on a "flying carpet." Although Andrew is Latino/Native American and is a brunette, as a child he was a towhead, although uncannily, we still wear similar clothes. Andrew had jackets just like this one now (although not the shorts!), and we both have t-neck white sweaters, and I still love wearing boots (I grew up in Colorado, hence the boots in my picture). Andrew’s photo was hand-colored, mine was black and white, and it was interesting to interpret the colors in the images while painting – it was interesting that the backgrounds happened to turn out blue and pink. While working, as I always do, I try to get into the "heads" of my portraits, listening to music that is meaningful to my subject matter, listening to audiobooks and so on. It was fun to listen to the late 60’s/early 70’s music of our youth (including Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin for Andrew, the American Graffiti soundtrack, Cat Stevens, the Who and Steve Martin comedy albums for me, amongst many many others). For children’s portraits, I think that Goya is one of the best. I’ve always loved his portrait of the boy in red with the magpie and cats (Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga), and strived to create something here that was just as uncanny and alive, with more than just merely a pleasant picture of whimsical youth and more of a portrait that is impacted with ineffable feelings of our life experience that hopefully gives the work itself a life of its own.