This commission was a privilege and a HUGE challenge.

My friend Ellen commissioned me just before I left for GOA to do a memorial piece for her daughter, Missy, who died in her sleep last year. She was only in her 20's. It was a shock to all of us.

I asked Ellen what she had in mind and explained that I don't do portraits. Acrylics dry so quickly, I wouldn't even know how to start. I only do loose caught in action moments. But Ellen said, "I don't care if you paste her picture on the canvas. I trust you."

She said she was in no hurry and I said that I would have it to her by Christmas. It would take a lot of thinking.

Missy was a bubbly girl who wore florescent lipstick, theatrical makeup, laughed and giggled easily and was almost always smiling. Missy wrote fiction. Missy loved fairytale. But Missy was so much more than that. At her memorial service, person after person stood and told how Missy stood by them through some really tough times when no ones else understood.

I really had no idea how to portray Missy. I asked for several photos, the more candid the better. I hoped that one of them would spark an idea.

Then I prepared to go to Gathering of Artisans, hosted by Matt Tommey, in North Carolina. I was so incredibly excited to be taking a class with Kate Green. I love her work and her process. Through a series of bizarre circumstances, Kate was unable to be there. She taught our class via skype and I can honestly say that it was one of the profound experiences of my life. That's a story unto itself that I will try to blog soon, but "meeting" Kate in that class and learning her process of intercessory prayer for others via paint and color ignited an idea for my commission.

I wouldn't use just one of the photos because Missy was way to bold to be captured in just one image. I would use all of them. And I was springboard off of Kate Green's lovely bright color palette and use of circles.

PLEASE check out her work at: http://kategreenartandsoul.com/index.html

She is PHENOM!!!

Was I trying to actually do what Kate does? NO! I couldn't beg