For the past few months I’d been slowly working on a family portrait for a very special lady. She is celebrating the big 6-0 and I was tasked to paint a set of dolls of her and her family. Her friend thought it would be fun to put in 60 elements that represents her, an iSpy sort of situation. As someone who likes to be on all kinds of conspiracy (good ones, mind you), I was down.

The family are all Warriors fans. This reminded me of the time I had to paint a baseball team, twice, but at least there are a ton of varieties to the outfits!

Even the animals got in on the action!
Not the cat, though. I kind of have a cat now and I can see how difficult it is to wrangle one into a costume.

I don’t really sketch out any of my ideas unless it’s absolutely necessary. Luckily I was left to my own devices after given the brief because I had absolutely no plans as to what I was going to do with the iSpy doll until I sat down each night to work on it. It was almost like putting a puzzle piece together and all my previous leanings, such as writing teeny tiny letters, or making this crazy free writing journal, had given me the skills to work within the confines of the doll and get everything, all 60 elements, down.

As you can see, this is a highly personal project and I got to know this lady quite well despite not knowing her at all! Hey, anyone who works in a zoo, loves CSN, Joan Baez, lived in NYC, interacted with a chimp, and rode horses are definitely people I’d want to know!