Portraits of Special People

Ethan

watercolor, 33×22

Collection:  Fulkerson Family

I struggled with what to call this section, because after all, everybody is special.  Everyone has their own center, and we can see the beauty in the individual. Yet it seems that children with serious and specific needs are seen by those needs and not by their beauty.  The parents see their child while others may see disability.  It’s unfair that the joy they feel about their child is seldom immediately shared by others.  
I try to paint the subject’s core. The sample portrait here is of a boy with Autism. I see him discover the world and then be limited by an inability to express his response to it. And yet by talking with his Mother and observing him closely, I can experience his subtle communication and his wide range of emotions. In the portrait, his face, his body posture, as well as the details and activity of the composition tell the story of this boy’s journey in the world.