Artists who make portraits create an image in the likeness of a person (or animal)—capturing identifiable features, his or her personality, and the like. Objects within a portrait can provide visual clues about the individual featured in the artwork.
Choose two of Ted Gordon’s portraits and have students compare and contrast them.
Discuss what is similar and what is different. For what purpose was each portrait created?
Knowing that the artist made these self-portraits at different periods throughout his life, discuss how the likeness of the artist has changed over time and what occurred between the years of each portrait.
Have students consider what the young girl might have been thinking as she was sitting for the portrait. Ask them what the girl might be getting ready to say. What might the cat be thinking? Develop a story around the sitter, the cat, and the artist.