The artist knew that everything about this picture was perfect for her best friend. She wanted to paint something that would have meaning. The powder blue dance slippers, the windy hair, and the reading of a good book, in a tree no less, made all of those things were just perfect.
Her friend was about to have her first child, a girl. The baby would be born in autumn and be named after a favorite literary writer, most likely a poet. Both the parents were poets, writers and teachers of the literary arts. Her mother studied ballet in New York before completing her advanced degree and becoming a professor.
The painting would commence on a 20 x 16 inch canvas. The artist would give it two smooth coats of gesso then proceed with the background. Once the background was completed she would block in the tree, carefully mixing a little sap green, Phthalo green, Naples yellow, and yellow Ochre and move the brush in such a way that it almost seemed as if she was sponging the bark. The girl would be next and her delicate blue skirt would require some mixing. As for the skin tone the artist would mix a little white, a little Ochre and a tiny bit of burnt sienna. A little burnt sienna and Phthalo green with a fine script brush would color the vine. The leaves would manifest from most of what was already on her palette except a pea size Alizarin Crimson would be blended with a little bit of white and Naples yellow.
When she finished she would sign and varnish. Later the artist would present the painting via the post just a few days after the child’s arrival, sending it along with all the wishes and love that went into its creation.