They say a portrait may be your best shot at immortality. At least, we know a portrait will likely outlive us. But the oil portrait is also an opportunity to recapture our youth, while we’re alive to appreciate it. At least that’s the case with Evan, who finally received his childhood portrait, even though he is now a College student.
I painted his sister’s portrait about five years ago but due to certain logistics we shall not discuss, we were not able to get his done until a couple weeks ago.
It was then when Evan had the rare chance to revisit his youth by seeing his childhood portrait for the first time. I had taken photos of him around the same time I did his sister’s portrait.
As I presented the painting and took photos, then and now, he got to reminisce about his now long lost youth. We figured out when the photos were taken and what he was doing back then. And mom and dad got to relive fond memories of a simpler time.
Indeed, a portrait is a kind of a time capsule which we can use to travel back and rediscover ourselves.
It’s fun to see how he has aged. It’s fascinating the ways a boy becomes a man. The same, but oh so different. There is a part of his youth in his adult self and part of his adult self captured in his youth. Still, a kind face and a pure soul.
To see the childhood portraits my father did of me next to my present self, one could hardly imagine I was the same person. I keep them around to remind my children, AND myself, that I was once a sparkly child, full of energy and potential, just like them. It’s almost like communing with one’s inner child.