This is a portrait I did for my son for Christmas, to document this stage in his life. He is a derrick hand in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, a job that requires one to climb up many feet in the air on steel derricks and perform tasks that, as a mother, I’d rather not hear about! I enjoyed painting the portrait because in a way I was connecting with my son while I was painting it. These men work long hours, and ┬áin many cases live far from their families so they do become almost as tough as they look. This one is still my “boy”, though! I painted it from a screenshot he sent me when I wanted to see what his job was like, and I added the derrick from another photo he sent me.


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