Community Remains Oil Portrait Number 29
2-hour oil sketch or custom painting oil portrait hand painted from life
BFA thesis original oil paintings project Community Remains in partial requirement for a BFA in Drawing and Painting for Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC).Read Tali’s 2020 drawing and painting thesis Community Remains here.
This OCAC alum worked in the front office while I was in school. He was quiet, but welcoming, and inquisitive about my work. I can’t believe how long it took me to start asking questions about his own work. He had commented on my nude self-portrait on several occasions and always had the most profound insights, which left me very curious about how he could understand my perspective so well. I am slightly ashamed to say learned his name by looking him up on Instagram, we never formally introduced ourselves.
When I sat down to paint him it became clear what an old soul he was. I was mesmerized listening to him recount his own journey at OCAC as well as all his travels and cultural observations. He brought me a gift of tea, which looked like little heart shaped capsules. I was so touched! It took me a while to resolve his painting to my liking, and one of my professors noted that I had made him look for too old. I spent another few minutes working on his face after our session together.
Months later while sheltering at home from the Covid 19 outbreak I found the tea in my purse. I had my husband make me a pot. It was so soothing and delicious that when my mother passed away this spring my husband made me another large mug. My mother loved tea, and it was this small way of connecting with her. I carried that handmade mug (I had purchased during the last OCAC cup sale), filled with my special tea all that day.
It’s really strange and amazing how human connections expand and grow. My mother never met my sitter, had never even seen OCAC and enjoyed it’s charming campus (she would have loved it). But now when I look at this oil portrait, I connect the two people and experience together.