Monday, April 8, 2013

How We Met

"Gabriella with a Book" 
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas

I think it's safe to assume that we're all internet people here. This is a blog, after all. So, many of you will relate to the story I'm about to tell, I'm sure.

Almost four years ago, I got an email from a stranger. She introduced herself and told me she'd found my Etsy shop, loved it, and then discovered that we both lived in Eugene - could we meet to discuss some internet-art-selling stuff? We arranged a meeting. I remember telling her how she'd be able to recognize me: I was 8.5 months pregnant, and enormous!

Not only do we live in the same small town, we live less than two miles away from each other. Not only are we the same age, but we are less than one month apart (she's older, ha). We got married in the same year, we both LOVE to read and love the same authors, we both have sisters, and (now) daughters, and most importantly - we are both STILL LIFE painters. We were fast friends - and remain dear friends to this day.

I've been wanting to attempt this portrait for a long time now, and I'm actually kind of relieved that it worked out as well as it did. It's not an exact likeness, but they never really are. The important thing, to me, is that when the sitter first sees it (and those in the know always wait until the artist is finished to look - never at the breaks) they recognize themselves. It's something I've observed closely - the look that passes over a face when they aren't expecting to, but suddenly see something familiar. A smile is always involved.

 Ok, a small smile, but still:
My takeaway is this (once again): DO the things that intimidate you. They are the most rewarding in the end. 

Here's where I'd say 'Thanks for modelling for me, Gab.' But I don't think I need to - she knows I'm grateful. Plus, I think she had fun. Just a little bit!

(Here's a work-in-progress to finish detail of the face:)

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