About 3 months ago we lost a very special man in our church too early in life. His name was Ricky Miller. He left behind his wife Liz and their four precious children. Soon after his passing I was approached by someone who wanted to have me do a portrait of him and their sweet daughter. This was to be a gift not only for his wife, but also for his daughter who would grow up without her daddy. I was so touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity of this dear friend. I searched for a photograph that I could use as reference. I found a photo video montage and took a screen shot of this one to use.
I changed a few things like tilting his head in closer with hers, giving them more of a lively glow, and changing her dress. Having them emerge out of the dark like this was something I have never done with the current medium I am working with and I really enjoyed bringing a little chiaroscuro into this painting. I prayed for his family all the way through the time I spent painting and it was heartbreaking contemplating so much on their pain and loss. When I paint people I become instantly connected with whomever I am painting. It is inescapable.
When I went to choose the kind of flower that I was going to use, I decided to go with honeysuckle. I chose it not only for its beauty, but for its symbolism which is "bonds of love" which I felt was so appropriate for this piece. Somehow a bird always sneaks into my paintings. They seem like the perfect balance to the composition and finishing touch so I add them. This time I chose a hummingbird which became inspiration for some of the colors I chose to use in the rest of the painting.
Of course I added some gold bling on the bird and also on part of the flower's stamens.
The phrase "art is so personal" is an understatement. This is as personal as you can get and I love that this moment was memorialized on canvas for his daughter to have forever. I feel honored that I was chosen to paint this and I pray that his daughter will always know how much his daddy loved him every time she looks at it. To read a blog written by Ricky's strong and admirable wife, go to www.musingswiththemillers.blogspot.com .