Austin, TX, January 18, 2021
Oil on Linen
24 x 18 inches
This woman was the very first person I asked to participate in the project. Following a sort of divining for where to find a subject, I went to a popular shopping center and saw her sitting alone outside a restaurant at a small table with a big martini.
It being my first time to do this, I was nervous when approaching her to explain the project. But she wasn’t afraid at all, accepted my request, and welcomed me to her table.
“May I ask what you’re doing here?” I said.
“I’m toasting the love of my life who passed away six months ago today.”
I took this as validation for the project that the very first person I asked was experiencing such a powerful moment while inviting me in to share it with her. She was 82 years of age, and spoke in a strong, deep voice telling me about the man who died and their rich, accomplished, interesting lives. “Were you the love of his life?” I asked. “Oh, I believe it for sure.”
There were questions about their relationship I chose not to ask. I didn’t need to know more than the beautiful love she carried and celebrated with that big martini. He was the reason our paths crossed that day, so when I painted her portrait I left a space for him at the table.
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