Alexandra  3' x 4' 1993
 
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Alexandra is my niece, so the opportunity to do a portrait without worrying about having to please the sitter was pleasing to me. We love each other so anything I painted would make her happy.

Painting from life would give us an excuse to meet regulary.Most portrait subjects don't have that kind of motivation or patience, making it necessary to work from photo resources. There is so much more visual and psychic information from a live person.

Alexandra was just coming into her own. A young lady who had recently moved from her home in Venezuela to California. She still has a girlish, coquettish side but I went for the maturity that was becoming apparent.

The canvas was pretoned with raw sienna as a background. I used a style I was just starting to develop and have developed much further since. I call it "Tropical Cubism". Synthesizing nature - light shafts and birds, flowers and leaves into graphic design elements.

Once again a creative dynamism is acheived between, on the one hand, the quiet, sedentary, reflective young woman, dressed sedately, who is apparently unaware of her surroundings and, on the other, the intricate formation of highly stylized birds, flowing lines, and geometric designg that surrounds her and threatens to at least disturb, if not topple, her. The young woman's bright, flowing, highlighted hair provides the key transition between the otherwise reflective elements of her portraiture and the dynamic world that surrounds her and is plausibly, by virtue of that hair, part of her as well.

Both she and I were pleased with the results.

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