Standing on Their Own Two Feet
“Many of my paintings are about the hopes and the dreams for my children,” said Steve Hanks in a 2006 interview. “They are about the things I want to expose them to, paintings, making their own art, music, reading books or simply thinking for themselves. All these things contribute to them standing on their own two feet and reaching for their dreams. When I paint children it creates unique opportunities for symbolism about the big ideas.”
“Standing on Their Own Two Feet” is an example of Steve Hanks’ engagement with titles and the opportunity that they provide to add meaning to the work. The mother holds her toddler as she stands, perhaps for the first time, before the sweep of the ocean. It is a portrait of loving guidance and support. But also, in their reflections in the water, and in the shadows behind them, they are both literally standing on their own two feet.