This portrait was created in 2012. A gentleman and his wife came into the gallery and I was intrigued by his face. He had a certain presence, and seemed both intelligent and distant at the same time. His gaze was intense as he viewed the paintings, and when looking at me, he seemed to look into me. He was simply dressed, with long scraggly hair. He had politely removed his tam when he came inside.
I asked if I could take his photo, feeling that I HAD to paint him. His wife was delighted at the idea, but took me aside and said “You know, he has Alzheimer’s; but he used to be very intelligent.” I replied that I could see that in his face. The gentleman was very accommodating with my requests as he posed. He was a great model! The light was pouring in from one side, and I was able to capture just the look I wanted.
Once home, I began my photo editing. I darkened the surroundings, keeping the suggestion of the bouquet of flowers which were on the table, and added a partial oval painting behind him of a young woman, but faded it out greatly. I decided on a 24×30 format. After a few months I achieved this painting.
There is so much we don’t know about the illness of Alzheimer’s. It is common knowledge that the mind loses its ability to remember things which have occurred, whether recently or long ago. But what ARE their thoughts? Can they relay them? Perhaps these are questions which will never be answered. Thus my title: “Memories of His Own.”