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an artist's blog

the matriarch

This painting of my grandmother, Allaine, has been a long time coming. I promised it to her two Christmases ago, and since then, she's been through a lot—the loss of a companion, two rounds of chemo, a bout of radiation, and all the emotional upheaval that comes with. My grandmother has always been a role model to me, and I admit I experienced a fair bit of trepidation undertaking her portrait. It is my dearest hope that she approves of this painting; to me, she is always beautiful and elegant, and she deserves to see herself as I do.

Oil on canvas, 2017.

Shout out to alizarin crimson, which makes an appearance in every aspect of this painting. The viridian notes in the skin, laced with delicate rose madder, are some of my favorite areas as well. While painting this, I felt like I had "Skinesthesia" (a portraitist's version of synesthesia, perhaps?)—there's a veritable rainbow woven through her flesh. The longer you look, the more colors pop out at you! I also had some fun experimenting with Williamsburg's iridescent bronze to give the background a little atmosphere.

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