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Rising Son

Oil on Canvas - 30"x40"

Finished 1999


My wife and I didn't wait long after getting married before deciding to start our family. A little over a year and a month, our firstborn, Brandon, was born to us. My painting, "Empty Yet Full of Love," was now something I could no longer relate to. I was no longer empty. I was only filled with love for my wife and son. 

I had a hand in creating the greatest creation possible, a child. I was in the delivery room when he was born, and when I first laid eyes on him, though he had the normal icky on him and crying loudly, he was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.

I wanted to do this large painting to celebrate my son's birth, yet I wanted to keep the design simple. I wanted my son to be small, conveying how tiny this new soul was. The image of the sun is from a pillow we hung from the ceiling above his crib on a fishing line. We still display the pillow near the painting in our home. Brandon's image is from a photo I took of him the day he was born. I chose this image because of his expression, which seems to be out of fear and confusion, all while not being able to process these new feelings for the first time. I wanted the imagery of him floating on a balloon of sorts toward earth as a metaphor for it being the dawn of his life.

Since so much of the painting is comprised of clouds, I created a starry border resembling a matting frame of stars. One of the reasons I chose to make this frame with stars is because I feel that you can't have a day without night and that he was now the center of our universe. This addition to the work is visually one of its strongest elements.

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