Tuesday, November 17, 2009

She's not a Stranger to me...

My dear friend Diane Feissel has abandoned me. She's up and gone, as fast as I got to know her. I'm sad for myself and the rest of Raleigh, but very happy for her and her new home town of Philadelphia. That city suits her much better and I hope she'll acclimate quickly. I've known for awhile now that she was going to be moving around November 1st. But it wasn't until about three weeks before that date that the full reality set in. I got the bright idea to do a portrait of her, which 1)would leave a nice remembrance of her for me in my studio, and 2)force her to sit for me, chatting away while she stared at a speck on the wall. Amazingly, she agreed and we were able to get 2 three hour sittings in before her departure. We were hoping to get one more session in, but she ended up being a virus magnet and was quite ill, in the midst of packing. I may be devious, but I'm not cruel, so I didn't make her sit for me her last week here in Raleigh. Here are a few photos of how I developed this painting.

Diane with Kitten, oil on panel, 24" x 18"
While painting this, I had a few of life's persistent distractions. It's taken me longer than I had hoped. And now, there is still more I would like to do (for instance on the shirt). While I was painting it this week and last, I had a nagging thought that really I should be working on something else (like the Nest painting); that this painting was merely a selfish practice that probably shouldn't/ couldn't go into my impeding solo show, since it's JUST a portrait of a stranger to most people. Yet, I am so happy I chose to indulge myself, after all, Diane is not a stranger to me!

Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the kitten inclusion. My husband thinks I'm crazy to have Diane holding it like that. "What will people think"? I like that it adds a sort of maniacal aspect to the portrait. I feel that it's inclusion has brought a heck of a lot more interest to what was a stark, frontal portrait. {insert villain chuckle... boo waa...a..a.a.a}


  1. I love the portrait, and I love the kitten!

  2. I think its great. At no point did I think the kitten looked weird...I had to go back and look at it after reading your husbands comment. I think it is a quintessential kitten pose...always trying to get away! ha ha! Maybe that can symbolize Diane moving :)

  3. Sadie and Amber, Thanks so much for the support! I really appreciate the kind words and reassurance. Happy painting to you both!