I don't know how old the twin boys were in the reference photo, but they could have been about the time when I first met them--seven years of age. I had just started dating their uncle Peter and was introduced to the family in their house in Eau Claire, WI. I loved them and they loved me back. Such tall, blond, handsome and nice boys! They grew up, got married and had three kids (for Erik, sitting in the painting) and twins (for Peter, standing) each. Such a happy family! I was proud to be a part of the extended family.
As you may remember, Erik passed away unexpectedly last August at the age of 38. Life sometimes changes suddenly and irrevocably. That is the case with Erik's death. His family will never be the same.
On May 9th, Peter turned 39; his older brother Erik would have turned 39 too. The family got together in Twin Cities, MN, to celebrate the twins' birthday. I wish my husband and I were there too. My thoughts were there with them though. I painted the double portrait as a birthday present for Peter, who must go on without his crib mate. I told him that he mustn't try to fill in the shoes of his big brother. That's too much of a burden. I told him to be just himself because we love him as Peter, not as Erik's doppelganger.
Happy Birthday, Peter! Happy Birthday, Erik! We miss you terribly.