Day 14. On Parenting Boys


“Contemplating” 6x6in, oil on canvas


I’m still loving all the photos sent in to me. It’s only day 14 out of 100. If I haven’t gotten to yours yet, it certainly doesn’t mean that I won’t. Today’s painting comes from a photograph sent by my friend Denise. It’s of her son when he was much younger. Interestingly, I got a text this morning from another friend with a link to an article about parenting boys which led me to another article from the same source– Why it’s Imperative to Teach Empathy to Boys. It’s a good read in not just an oh-that’s-interesting way but more in a how-do-I-put-this-into-practice-immediately way.

I don’t know him well, but from what I do know, the little boy after whom this painting is modeled has become a kind-hearted, loving, compassionate, and empathetic young man. It’s a constant work in progress, but one of my greatest hopes for my Ezra is that the empathy I already see in him continues to grow, that he walks through this world seeing a gathering of “we” rather than sharp divisions between “us” and “them”.

I think the expression in my painting is a bit sadder than it is in the photo. It wasn’t intentional, and I’d like to think this little guy’s expression comes from thoughtful contemplation of whatever was interesting to him at that moment. I used the palette knife again which was significantly more difficult on a tiny canvas, but I’ve discovered a few tricks that I’ll be sharing soon.

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

April 14, 2015

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