Out On The Roof

8″x10″ acrylic on canvas, 2014. Here’s the story of two attempts to capture a family’s most infamous tale using toys and paint. Liza came to me with a fully realized idea for a Christmas gift for her grown daughter using Fisher-Price Little People figures and the classic blue and yellow Little People house. She hoped to portray a frightening and cathartic story from Liza’s daughter’s youth, in which Liza discovered the little girl climbing around on the rooftop outside an open window. We discussed the details and composition of the painting and Liza initially decided that she’d like a 5″x7″ canvas. It was a challenge to make sure we saw a good portion of the house and still were able to make out the details of the figures in this small format, but I did my best:
However, Liza had hoped to see much more of the house in the painting, and felt that my zooming in on the figures did not accurately convey the dangerousness of the situation. She also asked that I alter the mother’s facial expression to show surprise or horror. We decided to re-do the whole thing in on an 8×10 canvas vertically so that the height of the house would be evident. That did the trick, and when I delivered the painting to Liza in person she seemed delighted! I’m so glad we were ultimately able to convey the gravity of such an important family drama to Liza’s satisfaction.

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