The story behind “The Guardians”

As an artist/photographer, I’ve learned to give careful consideration to photos before deleting them from my camera’s memory card. Sometimes what I can’t see in an underexposed or blurry shot is far more valuable to me than what I can see clearly, because it prompts me to use my imagination to fill in the details. In fact, really poor photos often make the best reference images!

This dark and grainy photo, for example, inspired me to paint, “The Guardians.”


I was taking photos at my friend Barbara’s wedding, and while I was waiting for the two little ring bearers to join the groomsmen, I snapped a quick photo to see if I needed to use a wider angle lens. I didn’t pay any attention to what the guys were doing or how they looked because it was simply a test shot.

Afterwards, as I was skimming through all the shots and tossing out the ones that were obviously not keepers, I came across this photo and FROZE. The more I starred at it, the more excited I got. There was something in their body language that struck me as… hilarious!

I could totally imagine these four as a crew of guardian angels up in the heavens watching some wayward soul on earth that they are responsible for.

Ok, so they’re not your stereotypical angels – that’s what makes it so much FUN!

Angel 1: What’s he doing NOW?!
Angel 2: Hey YOU! Knock it off! You know better than that!
Angel 3: C’mon! We’re tryin’ to help you out here.
Angel 4: (sigh) Ah, well. It’s just another lesson that he’ll have to learn the hard way.

I was so exciting I could hardly wait to start working on it!

Here’s the finished portrait, along with a a couple closeups…(click to view larger)




Click here to see some of my other portraits.