|"Longing" 18" x 24" Oil on Panel|
I like the suggested narrative of the scene... with the subject looking toward the window in deep thought, not noticing her cat who is approaching her with caution or concern. I hope the viewer imagines a story for the characters. Is the lady lonely? Is she traveling in her memories to another place and time, or is her mind fading to the point of ignoring her pet?
The truth behind the scene is: My mom, at age 85, remains pretty sharp. She works at an elementary school for 4 hours a day as a "Grandma," which is a program for retirees who come in for nominal pay and help as teachers aides. She sits with children and helps them work on their reading or math. She gets lots of hugs. After a full morning, she likes retreating to her little apartment for the rest of the day. She wants to continue contributing to society as long as she can.
Another truth is that this old Persian cat is not nearly as beautiful as my mom. So, her face did not make it into the portrait. A visitor never knows if this cat is going to hiss at them or be nice to them. Her attitude can change in the blink of an eye. She keeps my mom busy because of all the matted hair and snot coming from her almost non-existent nasal passages. A face (that only a mom could love) like this would surely have been a distraction in my painting: