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Art Show: Roots: past inspires present

One Grand Lady

by Erika Nelson

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Art: One Grand Lady by Artist Erika Nelson
My other idol is Thomas Eakins, American painter, 1844-1916. I am very poor about reading up on artists; but if I were to read him from his paintings, I would say that he must have loved people. He depicted his models just as they were without any intentions of "beautifying" them like John Singer Sargent did. I feel he was more interested in capturing the spirit of the person rather than thinking about how he could make his latest portrait be more "appealing" to his viewers.

The afternoon I painted my grandmother, it was a spontaneous idea. Usually when she visits for a week, I like to work and turn on the TV for her (it's either Bonanza, Iron Side or Columbo). But that day, I was determined to spend quality time with her by engaging her in a painting session. It gave me a chance to watch her eyes sparkle when she thought of something that pleased her or amused her. I witnessed how sharp this 94 year old lady was as she made note of a flowering plant began to droop from the heat of the sun right outside the kitchen window. Her complexion is almost perfect except from the recent time she fell from which she still has a bruise on her cheek. But there she was, in all her glory, and here she is on my canvas. The moment immortalized just as I saw it and with no flattery added - just as Eakins would have preferred.

Also shown here as the last two images, is a painting by Eakins of his wife (last is a detail image).

Detail Images


Detail Image for art One Grand Lady

Detail Image for art One Grand Lady

Detail Image for art One Grand Lady

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