The story is that we had just moved to this new town and had to settle into the first apartment available. We intended to get a nicer one in a better part of town once my husband was more secure in his new job. Living next door was a sweet elderly lady who had to drag around an oxygen tank for her breathing problems. She didn’t often leave her house but one day when I came home there she was standing outside her door, taking in the evening breeze. Since her door and mine were right next to each other, I had to walk right up to her to open my apartment. She was leaning against the railing and her hands were magnificent. You could see every year, every agony of life and her widowhood in her hands. I felt like they were so expressive I couldn’t just pass by. So I asked if I could take a photo of her hands to draw from. She was agreeable. It wasn’t more than a few weeks later when some hooligan ran into her little apartment and stole her purse right off her kitchen table escaping out the back door. It all happened so fast she didn’t even have time to scream. That’s when her son and daughter decided she shouldn’t live alone anymore and they put her in an old-folks home. Every time I look at this painting, I think of her and her life and her desire to be independent as long as possible.
I did the drawing in watercolor mixed with pastel and colored pencil.
What do you think?