Acceptance, M and Her Mom, Oil on Canvas, 24"x 30" Commission
I rarely do portraits of people. It's too fraught with untold psychological issues. I find working with animals to be much easier. Perhaps it's just a mental hurdle, after all, "people are basically orange" (from my teacher, Jon de Martin of the NYAA)
However, this double portrait is special to me. It was commissioned by the sitter in violet, I will call her M. M is a trans-woman. She recently made the change. She lives here in Idaho - a brave soul to make such a life/body altering decision. She wanted a painting to show her new self, and we talked over some different ideas - until she showed me the reference photograph that eventually was the source of this painting.
This was the day she "came out" to her mother. And what I saw was unquestioning love, and it was powerfully beautiful. Her mother passed away not long after. I made a couple changes to the reference image - they were not holding hands, and both the mom's hands were hidden. I had friends help me create a close approximation. It's not perfect, but M was happy, so I shall be too. It was hard to let go of this one.