I composed this iconic portrait of Nicole with objects and mementos that were part of her world from quilts and fabrics to book characters and stuffed animals. As I watched Nicole enter puberty, there was both apprehension and levity in my perception of her and this female passage. The Rabbit from Alice and Wonderland looks at his watch -- time is passing. Two large stuffed animals, a snake and a frog address Nicole's unfolding sexuality. The serpent suggests Eve's temptation; the cabbage rose, coming out of her head is a parody on the apple. Spectacled and freckled, still a kid, she explores vamping and femininity in a wrapped-around silk shawl.
All of my portraits invite you to know a person as they pictorially evolve on several levels. My penchant for color and patterns (awakened in Morocco) makes the art appealing to a child, yet the character inside Nicole is more complex and moody. Her girlish stance foretells the strong woman she will become and invites you to participate in her development.