Influenced by art of the 16th century and the princess postcards she collected as a child, Cassandra Christensen Barney loves the simple storytelling found in portraits. I loved that the characters were not always pretty, but looked like regular people playing dress up, Cassandra says. Ambiguous and poignant, they are not vain, not beautiful in the classic sense, unafraid to bare their melancholy and even show some sadness, she says. Their beauty is in their simplicity, which easily allows the viewer in and to wonder what they are thinking.Adara and Her Sister is rich in symbolism. The name Adara translates as beauty, the butterfly is fragile and short-lived, and the vines which surround them subtly suggest the bonds of family.