While I was studying illustration at Cazenovia College in upstate NY, I interned under Cheri Bladholm. She is an amazing illustrator and a really sweet person–one of my favorites.
I loved working with her, and gathering reference photos for her paintings was one of my jobs. She was working on a book called Tell Me the Story of Jesus, and I photographed members of my family so she could paint them into the scenes. She gave me a copy of the finished Bible, which was really cool, since we were in it!
Fast forward 15+ years and I just made contact with Cheri again. She’s working on a children’s Bible right now. We were talking about it, and she said she wanted some redheads for a certain scene. I happen to know two quite well, so I was happy to get photo reference for her after so many years–and the reds were happy to pose–for a minute!
The scene is the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. David stood in for a disciple, while Zia and Cash posed as kids gathering leftovers into the basket. We used sweet potatoes for little loaves of bread, and I got as many pics and poses as Cash’s patience held out for, LOL.
Cheri just sent me a photo of the finished painting. The kids identified themselves right away, and even David looks like himself (before his haircut!) I love the color scheme she used, and I am really excited about having redheads in a New Testament story, since I don’t think I’ve ever seen any portrayed. Ruddy King David must have had some red-haired descendants, though!
We are so looking forward to reading this children’s Bible once it is finished. Thanks, Cheri!