As a former airline pilot, I know what it's like to want to hold onto time. Both of my children were born while during my flying years, and while I didn't miss a single Christmas or Birthday, I was absent from just about everything else — and I missed my family terribly.
Wanting to chronicle my children's childhood each step of the way and never satisfied with 'good enough', I began to study the art of portraiture.
My purpose changed one day as my ten year old daughter asked for her most recent portrait to be displayed on the wall in her room. I was somewhat surprised and asked her why.
"Because when I have a bad day at school," she said, "or if I'm not feeling very pretty, I can look at myself on the wall and know that I am loved."
I realized in that moment that I'm not creating portraits for my own enjoyment: I'm creating them for my children's well being!
As I longed to spend more and more time with my family, I began to realize that my portraits could help others as well... J.Ridout, Portrait Artist was born.
Today, my clients realize the importance of their family and how quickly they change. My portraits constantly remind them who and what is most important to them. These portraits tell our children that no matter how busy and hectic our lives; no matter what happens: They belong to a family that loves then, and they are always welcome.
My last day as an airline pilot... November 17, 2014
As a storyteller using portrait art as my medium, I typically work with people who see their lives changing rapidly. They realize the impact that portraits in the life stories as well as their connections with others.