The back ground of this particular painting was done from 100 year old German post cards that were found in a dumpster here in our neighborhood. (The penmanship of the cards all in German and beautiful fountain pen script.) The blue coat was vintage an kind of dirty, and what is with the sea shells that keep showing up in these narrative portrait paintings? Good question! I think the shells refer to the long slow process of anything that is created. The slow accumulation of layer on layer, the way an oil painting is made, the way a shell is made, the way a life is made. Shells are also homes as well as protection. These portraits are of children well rooted to a place. They are at home. They are protected and flourishing even with the frustrations and hard ships they live with and endure. What do you think the spool of thread may represent?