This is Kate. She and my son were classmates when they went to Montessori fifteen years ago. She was an adorable girl then and has grown to become a beautiful young woman in so many ways. I made two portraits of her because I couldn't decide which photo to use. I worked on them both at the same time in my huge Moleskine sketchbook, flipping back and forth. It was kind of interesting doing it that way because she was a few years younger in the photo I worked off of for this portrait but my portrait makes her look a few years older - closer to the way she looks in the other portrait I was drawing - closer to the way she looks now.
I wrote "u are free" all over her face. This was a phrase that got stuck in my brain when I was in Nepal recently. It's not entirely random that I wrote it on her but I also don't know exactly why I did - I could say that about so many of the things I do to these portraits. I am aware she has visited Nepal and has an affinity for the people there and that part of the world. For me, "u are free" became a mantra of sorts. Something I would think about from time to time. Am I free? What does it mean to be free? Are any of us really free? I saw it written in spray paint on a brick wall on the drive from the airport in Kathmandu to my hotel. A simple piece of graffiti that got stuck in my brain and now it's a value for Kate's portrait. If you have any thoughts about this portrait or the phrase "u are free" I would love for you to comment.
11x17 pencil in my huge Moleskine sketchbook. #249