“Pulling The Wool” started as a drawing of my sixteen year stepdaughter who very recently began living with me, her father, and my own sixteen year old daughter. The portrait was started this summer when we spent a week at the beach and I drew her face as she was lying at the edge of the shore. For me, that edge beneath her symbolized the fragile line between girlhood and adulthood and all of the complex changes this transition inevitably brings. Her hair was fanned out up above her head across the sand and it made me think about the vast choices that lie ahead of her.
Once back home in the studio, instead of rendering her hair, I began semi-subconsciously incorporating an image of conjoined lambs. The young lambs are from a photograph that I've had pinned to my studio wall for quite awhile. I had previously been drawn to the image while doing research for a portrait of twins, brought on by my long fascination with mirror images. I chose to combine the portrait of my stepdaughter with the lambs because of the linked metaphor of innocence which is likely on the verge of being threatened. This tension is carried over around my stepdaughter’s portrait as the wool is wrapping around her, morphing into a jump rope. This elementary school toy for my teenage subject becomes a noose, indicating the childhood games that entangle us.