The Duttons

Christie Dutton, a woman I knew for many years, wanted me to paint a family portrait which would include the living members of the family and her brother who had died leaving behind two young children yearning for his presence.

As the children matured, their youthful innocence matured into a vivid recollection of their father, a specter of love and guidance. In a delicate dance between the realms of the living and the ethereal, I rendered her brother's visage—a gentle wisp, evoking the feeling of a lingering presence that defies the veil between this world and the next. His form exudes a faint, otherworldly aura, a testament to the familial bond that transcends mortal confines. He stands next to his kids and mom, who's also missing her son who departed so early...

Evidences of his continued existence found form in the delicate details of their lives—dimes, serendipitously discovered in varied corners of their world, assumed the mantle of communication from beyond. These seemingly trivial tokens held profound significance, conveying a reassurance of his ongoing connection to the family. Amidst the portrait's tapestry, I portray Christie's mother tenderly holding a dime, while another one rests within a motif of bricks, harmonizing earthly and ethereal elements. This visual vignette encapsulated the essence of their shared belief—a belief in the enigmatic language of signs and the enduring kinship that traverses realms.

The resulting painting stands as a testament to their collective love and the cherished memories that persistently endure. It is a portrayal that encapsulates not only their physical presence but also the intangible threads that bind them across time and space. Through this symbolism, I encapsulated the sentiment that defies the passage of years—a poignant, indelible connection between the living and the departed.