Friday, November 25, 2016

New Portrait

A few months ago, a fellow member of Oil Painters of America contacted me after seeing my website
to ask if I would be willing to paint a portrait or two as a charitable donation to one of two programs. One called Hearts Apart keeps military families closer during deployment by providing family portraits. While the website in the link features photography, there is also a group of painters who work with the organization. Laurie Anspach, my colleague in OPA, has worked to provide portraits to military families facing a deployment for several years.

Additionally, Laurie has been doing portraits of children in foster care who are up for adoption. She does those through another organization The Heart Galleries of America. The Heart Galleries began as a way to show protential adoptive parents more attractive images of older children in foster care. These are independent organizations, active in many states, that provide photographic or painted portraits of older foster children and siblings. The portraits are exhibited in various settings as an aid to placement with permanent parents. It appears that these portraits actually increase the chance of these older children to be placed, Laurie says.

Laurie asked if I would do a foster child portrait, and of course I agreed. Although I don't know the name or age of the young woman whose portrait I finished a month or so ago, in the reference that was supplied she looks about fourteen or fifteen. While painting her portrait I contemplated her expression and her life. Portraiture, after all, is one person's understanding of another and not a simple depiction. So I spent time wondering what it must be like to be a post-adolescent girl with no parents, living in foster care, hoping for a permanent home yet knowing how difficult it is to find people willing to accept an older child. It's no surprise she has a careful and slightly cynical expression.This particular painting is 12x16 on a linen panel.
Laurie Anspach Painting for Good Causes

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