Forever Friends

I painted this oil depicting a little girl who found a friend. The story in the painting depicts a lovely girl with the simple surroundings of a bare orphanage. The girl seems a bit out of place standing in the corner. There is comfort, however, in holding a doll that she found along the way. Their special relationship allows the little girl a friend wherever she goes.

The model for the girl was my daughter, Sarah, who my wife and I adopted from South Korea when she was a baby. I remember when Sarah got older she wanted a doll to play with. We went to the store and she finally chose the one she wanted. She smiled and gave it a big hug. At that moment, I saw in her the first hints of being a mother. A mentor. A woman.

It amazes me how many people define themselves by the job they fill or the talents they currently have. To me, being a dad is everything. When it's all said and done Sarah will remember me most—not for my art or design—but for being her dad. Her memories, as well as my son's, define me. Our relationship makes me the man I am. It also grows me into the man I want to be.

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  1. Wow! This is really nice work. Love the lighting and gentle nature of the scene.


  2. I have to say, after a prolonged gaze at that painting, I feel this is one of your finest pieces. There is a LOT of emotion and sensitivity in that painting that is very touching. I don't know how better to describe it. Your brush strokes even look different. Whatever it is, THAT'S what you want to evoke in a painting, I feel. I want to achieve that with my work and get the viewer to actually "feel" something (besides anger) when they look at the piece. I love it!


  3. Joe,

    The lighting is rich. I see an updated Rembrandt look in this piece.


  4. Hey, didn't anyone tell you if you want to be an artist you have to be angry? There's no anger here. You'll never make it. Haha. Really nice, Joe. It's time to go looking for a gallery.

  5. Joseph,

    I saw this piece and almost wet my pants. Then, I got to see your latest and was in awe. When will you post the cowboy? Anyway, I love how you painted her eyes. Your edges are really well done.

  6. I took a moment to catch up on your blog and art I haven't seen. I clicked this link and this soft, lovely painting came up, filled with light and sensitivity. And I thought, "Ah. There's Joe."

    I've commented before that while all your work holds an undeniable and exquisite technical expertise, I often wonder where Joe is in painting.

    What matters to you? What are you passionate about? How do I, the viewer connect to you, the artist in your work? This piece resonates with depth and meaning and love. The austere backdrop creates an amazing contrast to the gentle beauty of the girl's face. There is a shy courage and strength in her eyes and a hint of the woman she'll someday become. This, I thought, is important to him. And because your heart is so obviously revealed in this rendering, it becomes a window to the artist's soul where common ground is found and the tenuous connection between artist and patron is deepened: the hallmark of great works throughout the ages.

    Encore, my friend. Encore!