Honorable mention, Kingston Prize


Distraction
Acrylic on Canvas
30" x 40"
2009

My painting Distraction received an honorable mention award of $1000 for the Kingston Prize. It is a portrait of my husband, my son and my painting.

Painting as a vocation is something that runs deeply through the core of my family relationships. I came to know my father as a teenager. A German painter himself, he had always been completely dedicated to his art, with family life often an unfortunate casualty. Meeting him was the beginning of a complete reformation of my own identity. More than just gaining a paternal history, I found the roots of my own creative drive.

Over several summers, he taught me not only to paint but how to be a painter, how to fine-tune a craft and build a career. But to follow his example would mean being a man ambitiously devoted to his art. Here I am at 31, not a man with ambition, but a woman with a baby – and still a painter.

This painting is a portrait of my husband and son sitting beneath one of my paintings. Titled Distraction, is about the delicate place painting holds in my family relationships now. As I look at my young family sitting for me to paint them, supporting my desire to paint, tolerating my desire to paint, I think about the example set by my father. I wonder if I can be wife, mother and painter. Will I succeed in dividing my devotion? Can I live it all fully, despite the distraction?