I don't know about most parents, but for my wife and me, when we brought the baby home, we spent a lot of time (when he wasn't screaming like a banshee) looking at him, trying to elicit that first smile. We'd been told that he wasn't really able to smile for a while, but we'd look at his face and swear that we saw something that looked like a happy smirk.
In this painting, I tried to capture that look. When I look back at the photos, he seems so placid, almost unresponsive, but I know that little glimmer of a smile meant everything to us, making up for the sleepless nights and the witching hour when he'd cry unrelentingly.
This painting is part of my time-travel series, in which I'm returning to key moments in my life and painting and reliving them. I'm finding that the empathetic act of painting really allows me to return to the moment.
He's bigger than life.
The original gouache painting is 24" x 18". His face is roughly double life size, and this makes the painting feel monumental, with Jacob almost like a god.