Two years ago I began painting my dear and close friend Liz Adams Jones. Liz has told the story of how she and I met and how we began painting each other. She perfectly describes what blossomed by expanding the definition of our friendship into the realm of “Sister-ship”. She summed it up when she wrote, “As it turned out, getting to know her through painting her has been one of the most beautiful experiences in my life.” Liz, the feeling is mutual.
Through the process of painting my friend, I truly felt as though I was beginning to understand her with every new brush stroke. And with each layer of paint, the person that emerged was so much more than just an image before me, it told a history. This is my little chronicle of how one painting led to the next and into what I call the layers of Liz...
"Quiet Moment" was my very first painting of Liz. As she describes in her story, it was a very cold morning in my studio. All the heaters were running and hot tea was in the kettle. I really had no idea where our project would lead or how the strength and support of a fellow artist would affect each piece that followed.
Up to this time, I knew Liz as the joyful, effervescent woman with big sparkling eyes. I'd come to expect an image of reddish hair and the striking red lipstick that sets off her style right down to every vintage accessory, which have a stories of thier own to tell. But this time, in the cool north light of a winter’s morning, she sat there in my studio and I felt like I was meeting Liz for the first time. What I saw was unexpected, beautiful and soulful. Whatever I had planned to stage that day was unimportant and I turned my focus on a quiet side of Liz that embodies the depths of her strength. That became my inspiration for the paintings that followed.”
After having satisfied that important detour from my original inspiration with “Quiet Moment", I returned to my first concept in “Lady Liz”. In costume my model became muse once again and all I had to do was pay attention.
A special thing I learned about Liz is, she's likely to have a flower in her hair, or some kind of festive head adornment. On this day she posed for me in creamy white. Upon seeing this pale colored flower, she immediately stuck it in her hair, it was perfect. Having just painted her in all black, "Flower Child" was the counterbalance I was looking for.
"Fizzy Lizzy" is another fabulous layer of Ms. Adams-Jones with her special kind of “Sassy”, complete with red hair and red lips. If you are looking, she tells a story.
Here in "Nightcap" I revisit a pose in all black. I like the element of simplicity that black lends to her already regal air. I felt she is able to command our attention and still keep us at bay. And so many more are the layers of my dear friend, sister, fellow artist and muse, Liz Adams-Jones.