I’ve been working on a memorial portrait for a friend for over a year. I’ve found myself needing to redo it multiple times because I never could get it quite right. When you’re painting something so personal it’s important that you don’t screw it up.
My friend lost first her brother and then her mother rather close to each other in 2014. In the spring of 2016 I started working on a painting (without this friend knowing it) of the these two cherished family members in the hopes of giving it to her for Christmas this past year. Several months past schedule I’ve managed to finish it up just in time for her to visit.
I am happy with the way it turned out despite a lot of frustration with portraiture in the process of trying to get it right. While she’s in town I plan on making sure to mat and frame it for her to take back home. Knowing that death is just a part of life certainly doesn’t make it any easier on those who are left behind.
Maybe enough time has passed now that the memorial portrait will bring up more happy memories than sad – loss is such a difficult part of living but with much love (and time) we find a way to move forward with our memories close in our hearts.