Under the Tree, 2012.

Watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper,

9 x 12 inches.

Image detail

About This Artwork: I made this during my first "outing" with my "Little Sister," Alicia. She was nine years old and I volunteered to mentor her, so I rented a room at the Pasadena Armory for the Arts and we painted pictures for about three hours. While I was working on this one, Alicia created seven paintings of her own. She kept telling me to hurry up, but I was so nervous about being with her for the first time, I went into a kind of trance where I focused intensely on this one little watercolor. It was frustrating even for Alicia to watch me work on this, and when we packed up my car to head back to our neighborhood, she said, "I hope we don't ever have to do that again!"