Monday, July 13, 2015


If you have ever spent time at Girl's Gone Child, you already know that Rebecca Woolf is an amazing writer, honest and funny and candid; and you may have also noticed that she is a fantastically talented photographer, too. If you haven't ever spent time there, go do, I'll wait.

About a year ago, scrolling through the montage of just one month of captured moments, one picture in particular caught my eye. Actually, that's not entirely true: SO MANY OF HER PICTURES caught my eye... I loved so many of them, the light and the color and the spirit of them, that I started thinking about how this one or that one might look as paintings. 

But one in particular really did strike me -- of her daughter lying on a red blanket, surrounded by the glowingly-bright lavender folds of a tulle dress -- and I emailed her to ask if I could have permission to paint it. She got back to me right away and said yes with her usual ebullience, and I couldn't help but feel like I'd had a brush with celebrity. I tried to play it cool, but inside I was totally dorking out.

So. Then I set to work straight away mixing more pinks and reds than I have ever used in one painting:

And I worked out a quick study, because all that red was really intimidating:

Then I mapped it out on a bigger canvas and dove in:

Detail, in progress:

Annnnnd, the finished piece:

  "Leap of Fable," 23 x 33"
oil on canvas

I don't think I quite got the color of that dress as eye-poppingly bright as it was in the photo (and that red is maddeningly difficult to color-match on a computer screen), but it was a good experiment. I have much more respect for tulle now.

And I have so much respect for photographers like Rebecca who are just on it, shooting from the hip, keen and playful and unafraid... No coincidence then that this is her Fable, who, you can tell just from this image, is exactly that.

Thanks again Rebecca for the inspiration, and for sharing your life with such gorgeous words and pictures!


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