“Francesca” is the latest painting to be finished in my ongoing body of work, Portraits of American Teens. My intent is to complete eight to ten oil paintings, all measuring 36″ in length, of portraits of individuals teenagers. Each portrait focuses on characteristics of the individuals’ personality and when presented in context with the entire collection, will help to illustrate the mosaic of life as an American teen. Through my paintings, I will present aspects of my subjects personality, interests and background. Currently, I am on the fourth painting in this series.
The sculpture in this painting was a challenge because the color was very intense and had subtle variations between warm and cool. It went through several repaintings as I tried to “get it right”. I have never used so much yellow ocre in my life! Compositionally, I love how the sculpture cradles her body and also contains some interesting abstract value shapes. The development of hard and soft edges allowed me to pull the focus to the front of the sculpture and to Francesca who was contained within.
I hope I captured a few things that struck me most about this lovely young woman. Francesca seemed to be wise beyond her years and comfortable in her own skin. Even though she was unsure of where her interests would lead her, she looked to the future with anticipation. If only we all could have such an easy going nature! I would also describe her as creative, friendly, and poised.
Last I knew, she was living in the state of Massachusetts, although I hope that some day our paths will cross again. It would be lovely to know what life’s journey has in store for her.