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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Boy with a Fancy Bowtie

This is the latest painting I finished. I pushed it get it done earlier so that I could submit it along with the painting of Roxanne's with her face painted to the candle art show- I participated in the candle art show last year too, and it was really fun because all of the artwork that is displayed is also reprinted onto glass religious candles. I didn't intend for him to look sad in the picture. I just didn't want another obnoxious show off face- I thought a candid, vulnerable expression was more endearing and contrasted the personality the paint on his face seems to imply.
I've been hooked on listening to "This American Life" episodes while I paint. It's a free podcast and through my iphone, I can select to listen to any episode ever by browsing through the topics list. My favorite episodes so far are "20 acts in 60 minutes", "Fear of Sleep", "Pray", and particularly "Testosterone" which I, coincidentally listened to while painting this picture. The show revealed how testosterone effects the core of who people are by interviewing someone who suddenly lost all testosterone and a separate someone who suddenly tripled their testosterone. They were super interesting stories, and I couldn't help but nod my head as I painted and thought of how accurately they described the symptoms of boyness and how precisely Rocket embodies those traits. He's competitive, arrogant, obnoxious, ambitious, and loud. But every now and then I am able to see into the crevice of a tiny crack in the facade of testosterone, and within that tiny gap, I see a glimmer of vulnerability and tenderness that I really don't think anyone but me, as his mother, is able to see. I wanted to capture that part of him. As the radio program continued, I learned that as time goes on and he gets older, even I will probably lose the privilege of seeing that. That sort of makes me sad, but I think I will always know that even if he doesn't let me see it anymore, it's still there.
As far as the face painting goes, everything on his face was his own idea. He said he wanted to make himself into a "half woman half man". So the mustache, beard and bowtie are the man aspects. The lipstick, eyelashes and eyeshadow are the woman aspects. He thought this idea was extremely hilarious. Then he posed proudly for me to take his picture, making all sorts of goofy, obnoxious faces. Then I said "hold on a sec" while I reviewed the pics I'd taken on my LCD screen. That's when he stopped posing momentarily and looked down into his lap as he waited for me- which is when I quickly snapped the picture that I used as a reference for this painting.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Halloween's Past

Halloween is one of the many excuses during the year for us to dress up- but we do it during other season's as well, because dressing up is fun. Especially when it means you get to wear make-up (and usually don't get to) or get to wear girls tights (and usually don't get t0).
This year, Roxanne chose to be a bat princess. She at first wanted to be a bat but then realized that wouldn't call for lipstick and mascara, so she changed it to a bat princess.

Rocket completed his Mexican wrestler costume with turquoise girl's tights and blue woman's panties.

And I made him a matching cape, which he really really appreciated.

Matt and I don't typically dress up, but we have been letting loose the passed couple of years and joining in on the fun. This year, we went all out and dressed up as our favorite cleaning products (I did all the work):

I just went on a nostalgic mission to dig up pictures from every Halloween past since our kids have been born (there's not much before that because I wasn't allowed to dress up for Halloween as a child). For the last couple years, that just meant going into the archives of my blog for an October post, which was pretty easy. But farther back than that, was the pre-blog era, which means my kids are really really old. I had to go back into photo albums to find those olden-day pictures. This was a lot of fun, because their costumes each year really say something about who they were at that time in their life. I'll start with last year and then go back in time:

2009: A Princess and a Rockie's player (and they weren't happy about having picture time before trick-or-treating time)

2008: Batman and Batwoman- apparently Rocket still had control over what Roxanne's costume would be this year

2007: Sharkboy and Lavagirl- they sure did watch that movie a ton that year.

2006: Princess and Ninja Turtle- woah, so apparently Rocket grew up a LOT between 2006 and 2007- look at the difference in the pictures.

2005: Peterpan and Tinkerbell- I think this was the year I didn't have a camera.

2004: Fireman and princess puppy (the puppy was a recycled costume)

2003: Puppydog- he loved puppy dogs. I remember his first words were "arf arf", if that counts as words. And Roxanne was about a month old, so I think she didn't dress up.

2002: An itsy bitsy spider! This was in Iowa

1997: A few years before the kids. This is Matt and I our junior year as "Palmer Honor Students".... I guess we thought kids that went to Palmer High school were rebellious thugs... I don't know.
Who would have thought we'd end up being so "squeaky clean" (and still in love).