by: Amber Dixon, Manhattan Beach, California
Many times the key to UNDERSTANDING one another is as simple as a good conversation.
quote by: Lori Rizzo, Palmetto, Florida
I created this oil painting after a trip to the Dominican Republic with a charity organization called Skip1. We visited needy homes and schools, donating food and supplies. We spent time talking with the people, listening to their stories, playing games with their children, and building relationships. I realized the easiest way to connect with the children was through play. I couldn’t speak their language well and had trouble communicating with words, but I found out that the second I tossed a ball their way and motioned for them to toss it back, they immediately understood and were laughing, smiling and joining in. This boy is one such child that I felt a real connection with - all thanks to a simple soccer ball. Although we came from drastically different places with different histories and cultures, it became obvious to me that one thing universal to humankind is play. No common language is needed to see delight and joy in a child’s face when you simply play together. I have always felt a strong urge to paint people and love how a person’s face and a simple look can contain hidden stories, secrets, memories, feelings and emotions.