There are so many reasons why this goofy picture of my son at the Medina Market in Accra, Ghana, makes my smile. I can just imagine my daughter Alexandra saying "Hey Stephen, go stand over there so I can take a picture of that scene for Mom". How did I know that? Because I have asked them to do that for me time and time again, photographing people over their shoulders, so that my subject remained unaware and natural.
Last year my daughter gave me a wonderful gift, all the photos she took during the six months she lived in Africa. She is an amazing photographer. I often go through her photos looking for inspiration. Yesterday, I was looking for one particular photo I had seen of a little girl at the market when I saw this photo of my son. Before I ever went to Ghana or even thought I would, we sent our 16 year old son Stephen to visit his 19 year old sister. Stephen and Alex had some real adventures together. As a mother who worries, I am glad they told me about them after they had returned safely back to their host family's home.
I never thought I would ever go to Africa so I asked Alexandra to take some very specific photos for me to use in my paintings. This was no easy task. But, it ends up that many of the best pictures were taken on the day she went to the market with her little brother. I could see how well they worked as a team. He served as a distraction so she could take photos without causing a scene or getting anyone upset, which had happened to her before.
Here is the finished painting. I had forgotten that Stephen was in the original photo that inspired this painting. Now, I know what the woman in the background is looking at my daughter taking her brother's picture. To purchase this painting or a print, go to www.shop.paintingbrighterfutures.com