Last summer I was sitting at a coffee shop preparing to head out for a day of plein air painting at the Lakeside Plein Air Festival when I received a message on my phone from my fellow artist friend Jim White. Jim was at the event too and he had apparently already been at it for a number of hours. The pictures accompanying his message were priceless. Jim lets kids help him paint his paintings. He is one of the few painters I have seen who do this. Most of us have been approached by children who would like to try painting of course-- but few of use are brave enough to allow a child to touch our pieces. Jim is the exception.
I knew I wanted to paint one of these pictures so I asked him if I could and he is a really kind hearted guy so he said yes. I didn't change much in the painting. I simplified the background, which originally was a complicated looking fence, and deleted some awkward-fitting clothing form the younger girl. The child painter and her sister (or friend--I'm not sure) are absolutely delighted to be participating in the Lakeside Plein Air paintout and this is what I was trying to convey. Although I enjoyed painting the girls, it was also a lot of fun to paint Jim's worn and colorful French easel with all the years of accumulated paint drippings.