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My best art critics inform me that my self-portrait study does not look like me. “Mommy, you are beautiful,” McKinley coos at me, sidling his cheek up to mine. “That could be Grandma Linda,” he adds, his finger pointing to the rejected visage.

I have to admit it. Figures are not my strong point. A tree, a flower, a sky–these I can paint with ease. But the human face..the body…I have practiced these sparingly. And while the face I’ve painted certainly doesn’t look like Grandma Linda, I know what McKinley is saying–I am beautiful to his eyes, and that picture is NOT.

But this skill I must develop, if I am to paint what I desire. So I pick up a pencil this time. I’ll stay away from color for awhile, and order some figure painting books for support. And there is my friend down the road who excels magically at figure painting. I need to watch her work.

Practice, practice, practice. This is what it will take. What I hoped to have accomplished within a year’s time may take much longer. That’s OK, so does everything else.



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