The Power of a Picture

I painted this picture of a baby that was emailed to everyone at my school as part of one of those "so and so had a baby and everyone is doing fine" messages.  I thought it would be a great image for my website but I didn't know the father and didn't have his permission to use it.  I painted and posted it anyway thinking I would give him the work in exchange for me using his image. My wife and daughter thought this was a terrible thing to do for various reasons. This made me nervous about what his reaction would be when I tried to give it to him. I tracked him down and quickly told him about my website while handing him the framed painting. He couldn't believe his eyes and just sat there staring at it. After a little while he started to cry and of course I started to cry a little bit myself.

I know that the painting in and of itself didn't bring tears to his eyes. It was the tremendous love he has for his new born child that was brought forth by seeing this image.  The image was no longer just a digital photo quickly taken with his phone. It something "other", something "special". I couldn't believe his reaction. It was a joyful moment and made me feel great. Many of the images I paint are taken in my yard, or in my neighborhood, then they are transformed into something significant and almost magical. Could this be a modern day equivalent to cave painting?


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