9.5" x 6" watercolor
Sensation: A teenage daughter can be a caricature of contrasts, all mercurial attitude and fierce fragility. She will allow, but she will not participate. Her gesture speaks plainly enough.Process: I take what I can get, and I work as quickly as I can. Pencil and watercolor are exactly the right medium, fresh and fast. The painting happens quickly, without much time for me to be in control; I have to hope that there is some experience or knowledge at work here, that it will be OK even without my being in control. (A metaphor for parenting?) Later, I try to turn this sketch into a larger painting, devoting much time and consideration to issues of composition and color, but the result is dull, heavy and overworked. This little watercolor remains the best statement about Sarah and me at that point in time, when she was 13 and I was, well... younger than I am now.