36X36 Chicago, IL
There is so much magic around you both. I did listen to ‘Rooms on Fire” by Stevie Nicks the whole time I painted this. There is a lyric in the song “There is magic all around you if I do say so myself.”
“Fluid grace under pressure” was the phrase that kept coming to mind. Christine & Kyle as you are both teachers you probably have 500 kids between you, and Tom and Louise. When I think of Christine my memory shows me a young woman conducting a symphony, when her friends at the time her age threw bowling balls off of second-story houses for fun or turned over garbage cans just to laugh. Christine always had grace far beyond her years, and Kyle in my vision it’s like you bring the ease and playfulness to that grace. It makes you two an unstoppable match, and how rare to be the adult conduits for young adults to learn about themselves through the art. It’s a miracle really.
Traditionally a symphony has four movements, four distinct parts. First the brisk, fast & lively, Thomas, represented in the blue tones. Thomas has so many personalities and parts, as there are many different shades, textures, and movements of the various blues. Second is a slower, and more lyrical contribution, the white throughout the painting that ties it all together, Christine. The third movement is an energetic dance, much like the claves, the constant pace of teaching and music, leadership and focus, Kyle, the human minute represented in grounding, consistent black throughout and lastly, but never least, the grand dramatic finale, Louise. Louise is the sparkle in the painting. Even at so young she is wildly charismatic and funny. She brings the radiance, the little something extra, the shape shifts within the form as the light bends - to all of you.
Your family makes up a profound symphony. This painting is a portrait of you all really, not your physical being but all of your different movements of consciousness forming together. If you break it down into each individual part of the symphony as you watch each individual color it will make even more sense. But together all of the movement, contrast, sparkle, and texture makeup what you all give to and highlight in each other.
Mickey Mouse comes into all of this because I kept picturing blue, black, and white sparkly magic, and how when he conducts the symphony with his wand the sparkles come out. As if all at once so much magic erupts that it seemingly creates a chaotic orchestra. That’s probably how life has happened. It’s hard. There are storms. It might feel like you will never get a break, or things will calm down or be the same again after 2020.
But there are moments of contentment too, and no doubt astonishment. Of the symphony that all of your magic has created. The performance of life. It can be hard to see at times because you are so deep in the process of maintaining it. This does not mean it’s not clear to everyone else.
Thank you for allowing me into your family dynamic and allowing me to learn and grow in my art through you. There is such a high volume of goodwill, grace, and flair within you all and I am better for it.
Also a heartfelt lol because I added the stars at the very end. No family of the marching band and musical theater is going to get away with not having a single sequin on their symphony portrait.