Family Portrait Series: Lady of Leisure

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Family Portrait Series: Lady of Leisure

Artist’s Statement: This is an oil painting of a photograph of my Great-grandma Sally, lying in the grass in Kiamesha Lake, New York, with parts of other photographs coming through. Sally had a hard life—her husband abandoned her with two little kids to raise and no money. She eventually remarried and found her way, until her son Bernard died and she became consumed by grief. I have heard many stories of Sally’s “take no prisoners” mentality, wild curls, and incredible blueberry cheese blintzes, but I only recently found out about her struggles with mental health. As I try to keep my family history alive, I think it’s important to acknowledge and remember not just the funny stories that make us look good, but the uncomfortable or sad memories as well.