7″x9″ acrylic on board, 2013. That expression… we call that her “busy face.” Sonja looks this way whenever she is engrossed in an object or activity, and it ranges from mildly pursed and focused to bug-eyed and vibrating. Here’s an extreme example from her babyhood: Needless to say, we have found the Busy Face to be an endless source of amusement over the years, which Sonja, now five, finds a bit annoying at this point. We recently acquired a container of classic Tinkertoys at our local thrift shop, and painting her working with them has gotten me interested in making portraits of children engaged with their favorite toys. This seems to be a natural progression from years of portraits of kids and toys individually! Here’s an etsy listing for just such a dual portrait here if you’d like one of your own.