Sooner or later, most parents get the itch to have a portrait taken of their wonderful offspring. Venice artist Sherie Scheer takes the process a step further--into the realm of fantasy and myth. She photographs her little subjects in black and white, prints the image on a large sheet of photo paper and then paints, using oils, a whimsical backdrop. Themes range from fairy tales to opera, from sports to stage, from the Rockies to the Pacific. Examples: "Hannah as the sister of Moses," "Jessica and Zachary in the Antilles" and "Chloe at the Rock of Gibraltar."
Each work takes about a month to complete and costs $2,800. The dimensions vary with the scene. Says Scheer, whose first such work, a portrait of her daughter as a Fragonard-style Cupid, was inspired by a visit to the Frick Museum: "It's always a challenge to mix the reality of the child with the fantasy of the backdrop. I absolutely love doing it."
Sherie Scheer's portraits are available through Harriet Dorn Children, 2439-A Main St., Santa Monica; (213) 392-6889 .