Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Upper West Sider

Miss Martha
Oil on canvas
16x12 inches


My friend Martha passed away at the end of March after a long and difficult hospital stay. We met 23 years ago in an ovarian cancer support group and became fast friends. You wouldn't know when visiting her Upper West Side apartment that you were in Manhattan and not somewhere out in the Wild West. You see, Martha loved everything western themed - cowboys, cowgirls, etc. and decorated her apartment, top to bottom, with all sorts of ephemera relating to that very topic. I so enjoyed visiting her there, always noting the plastic pink flamingo she had perched outside on her windowsill.

Martha was one of a kind. One of the wittiest people I have ever known. Quick on the draw - verbally - and always her zingers made me laugh out loud. I so miss being able to talk with her and share the absurdities of life, especially now, during these dark and trying times.

I had taken a photo of her sitting at her desk - she was an editor by profession - and decided to do this painting. Although my paintings usually revolve around architecture, buildings, reflections and the urban landscape, I do at times attempt a portrait or figure study. While I was working on this painting I was comforted by many memories and found it a cathartic process in which to remember my friend.