deb art

It’s strange, isn’t it, how the idea of belonging to someone can sound so great? It can be comforting, the way it makes things decided. We like the thought of being held, until it’s too tight. We like that certainty, until it means there’s no way out. And we like being his, until we realize we’re not ours anymore.
—  Deb Caletti, Stay
Portrait Power Rankings: How Do You Even Paint a Baby Anyway edition

Think “little man from the Renaissance,” floofy collar and all. That should do it.
Ranking: TOTAL AMATEUR
(Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), Head of a Boy (called Alexandre-Évariste “Fanfan” Fragonard) (detail), c. 1785, oil on card. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)



Give it a gigantic forehead and no neck, and surround it with people that clearly want nothing to do with its baby nonsense.
Ranking: NOVICE
(Matteo di Giovanni (1435–95), Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Sebastian (detail), mid-15th century, tempera on canvas, transferred from panel. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)



Babies like scones, right? Make it look like its mouth is already full of scone, but it’s trying to shove even more scone in. And make it be asleep.
Ranking: COMPETENT
(Thomas Gainsborough (1727–88), The Cottage Door (detail), c. 1780, oil on canvas. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)



Giant forehead (but yes on the neck this time). Sadistic look in its eye. And twirling a blood-spattered toy held together by a nail.
Ranking: KEEP PRACTICING
(Charles Amédée Philippe van Loo (1719–95), The Artist’s Son, Louis (detail), 1764, oil on canvas. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)



Babies look like hunched over, stoned aliens, right?
Ranking: PROFICIENT
(Francesco Francia (c. 1450–after 1526), Virgin and Child with Saints Anthony and Francis (detail), c. 1490–1505, tempera and oil on canvas. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)



Make it have lipstick on, but the lipstick is smeared all over its face. And it’s trying to hand a flower to a barely clothed lady. Plus, it’s concerned. Very concerned.
Ranking: ADVANCED
(François Boucher (1703–70), Venus and Cupid (detail), 1769, oil on canvas. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)



Curly gold locks, chubby cheeks, and the expression you have when you’re stuck in a meeting that’s dragging on forever and ever and ever and ever and ever but you’re trying to still look professional.
Ranking: MASTER
(Cosimo Rosselli (1439–1507), Virgin and Child in Glory (detail), c. 1470, tempera with gold leaf and gesso on panel. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)



We’re overthinking this. It’s simple. We were all babies once, right? And now we’re adults. So babies are pretty much just miniature adults. So make it a tiny adult, but naked and with no eyelashes or eyebrows. And it’s being held by someone with REALLY LONG FINGERS.
Ranking: NAILED IT
(Attributed to Adrien Ysenbrandt (c. 1500–51), Virgin and Child (detail), early 16th century, oil on panel. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.)

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Artist Deb Stoner creates still lifes teeming with magnified flora and fauna. This beautiful photo features the colorful “porcupine tomato” (Solanum pyracanthos) with its fierce orange spikes.

“Photographing in this way has slowed me down, and caused me to think about the seasons, how things are impacted by the length of the day, the hours of sunlight, the size of the shadows from the trees. These experiences are exciting to me because they’re not things I’m learning from a book or the Internet or from someone else’s teaching: They’re simple observations that occur because I’m interacting with nature on the level of beauty and curiosity." 

—Deb discussing her work on #GettyInspired