In this portrait I painted of my four year-old granddaughter, Ruby, I wanted to show the little beauty that she is.
For this painting, I worked from a photo Ruby’s granddad had taken after our first trip back to the library when Covid restrictions were eased early in the summer of 2021. I was sitting across the table from her, reading one of the many books we had brought home to read during her lunchtime.
On that day, we had finally gotten to go to “story-time” at the library where her granddad and I had taken her since she was just a baby. She was almost three years old when Covid shut everything down. Ruby was so excited to get to go to the library again. Her mother had put her hair up and she wore her special little purple dress.
Ruby has always loved hearing stories, and stacks of book-reading was what we did on the many days we watched her when mom and dad were at work.
And so in this painting, here is Ruby, deep in thought, as she listened to yet another story.
I am a lifelong Kentuckian, growing up and residing in Louisville. I have been an artist my entire life. After graduating from Berea College with a degree in drawing and sculpture in 1986, I was hired as a staff artist working as an illustrator at the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times. I stayed there for ten years, leaving to raise our four children. They were my inspiration for much of the artwork I would then create for many years to come.
I have been painting for many years, concentrating mainly on my love for animals. This portrait of my granddaughter, Ruby, was my first painting of someone I know so well. I wanted to “illustrate” or show everyone the beautiful little face of an age of innocence, without so much care but for the stories so many good books can fill her mind with.
My drawings and acrylic paintings are journeys to show more than the images they are. My goal is to be there in spirit as I create, becoming part of the animal or person’s personal space.
For more images of the work I do, please visit my website: monicawbarnett.wordpress.com.