Last year, I found an image of a young boy from Tanzania on Pixabay and was so moved by his expression that I was compelled to paint him. Pixabay is an image-sharing site for the creative community. Artists/Photographers post copyright-free images for each other’s use. In our current, racially charged culture, I felt like this little boy’s face expressed fear, consternation, determination – and ultimately, hope. I added the colorful abstract shapes around him to add a sense of innocence, joy and thoughtfulness.
The painting won the “People’s Choice Award” at the Plano 2017 art show and was on display at the Art Center of Plano. I was honored to receive the award but the most touching honor came from children touring the show. This email came from Keri Fleming, the event coordinator at the Center:
I have shared HOPE with so many children! They love this little boy! He speaks to them and connects on personal levels.
I have attached a photo of the little boy that I shared the story about his interpretation of HOPE. I will remember him always. His story has been shared with many others who have toured. The painting seems to come alive with visions of little ones’ futures.
Thank you for giving of yourself to others through your art. I hope you enjoy the photo as much as I have enjoyed sharing HOPE!