Despite being interrupted by a stranger with a camera during a walk with her dog, this woman smiled and welcomed the chance to be included. We were on the trail around Lady Bird Lake, and I was glad to find someone among the fast paced crowd who was willing to step aside and engage with me. I think she was intrigued and maybe even a little thrilled to be a part of someone’s creative process.
She walked a fine line between her privacy and openness. She seemed genuinely grateful to be included in the project, yet she was the only one who opted out of answering the question about sex. What I found to be the most moving moment was her silence in response to the question about regret. She had shown she was capable of declining an uncomfortable question, but here she seemed frozen by the answer she couldn’t bring herself to share.
When we said goodbye, I got the impression our time together was very different from her everyday life. I’m pretty sure I saw something in her eyes that looked like gratitude for a chance to step off the path, but there also seemed to be some sadness for what she found there.
Austin, TX, January 22, 2021
Oil on Linen
24 x 48 inches
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