Paintings of people #1


This is a portrait of my wife before we were married. The image of the full moon is from a poster of “Autumn Grasses in Moonlight” by Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891). The original is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum. I don’t know what to say about any of the choices I made for this piece — from the background image to the colors it all came of itself. At that time I was working almost entirely by instinct or intuition or whatever we call it. I was just trying to make something happen without thinking much about art history or what my contemporaries were doing. Even the pose was easy because she is by far the best model I have ever worked with. My job was simply to not screw it up.

Here is a photograph of the exquisite work by Zeshin. The background here is silver leaf which I chose not to attempt to mimic in paint because I thought it would be too distracting.

This painting is in oils on linen mounted on a panel, 30” x 24”. See other work on my website,


2 thoughts on “Paintings of people #1

  1. This is an amazing painting Andrew. You captured that background so well and in my humble, not academically trained opinion this is a masterful composition. I hope you still have this painting.

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