A long time ago my friend Nikki asked me to make a painting for her. It’s been so long so I can’t remember the details, but it was either for a painting of just her, or a painting of she and Tom (her husband). I was so honored, but as I thought about it more, I got really stressed. Whenever I make something upon request I get really anxious, stressed that I’m going to ruin it, and that the person will be dissatisfied with the final outcome. Finally, I told her thanks for thinking of me so highly, but I’m not really a portrait artist and I had to decline her offer.
Nikki was one of those people who was always so supportive of her friends and family in their creative areas. It really meant a lot to me that she thought that I’d be able to tackle something like that.
Once she passed away, one of the things that I kept thinking about was how I needed to do that painting now. I had to do something to honor her and I wanted to give it to her mom to let her know how much Nikki meant to me. I knew exactly what picture it would be based off of too.
Back in the day of our first camera phones, we were at Michael’s and Nikki picked up one of those small decorative twig-wreaths that people place around the base of candles or on table center pieces. It had white “berries” and she put it on her head like some fairy princess and proceeded to take a picture of herself. I asked her if she wanted me to snap it for her and she said she got it. You can see the composition of her shot cut the picture off in such an interesting way. I loved that picture. On a side note, she LOVED photography as well as film-making, and had a flickr here, but was often intimidated about sharing her pictures there. Years ago I asked her for a copy of that picture, and I think she only had a download of it from her old Textamerica moblog site, so it’s super tiny.
That’s all I had to go off of. Like I said before, I’m no representative portrait artist, but it came out decent. I cried near the end when I realized it would come out okay, and that I felt it actually looked like her and that it would be good enough to present to her mother. I changed the wreath to a kind-of-halo. Nikki loved sparkly things, so I gave all the white orbs a silvery shimmer.
This week I’m going to pack it up and send it to her mom. I hope she likes it.