Caitlin is the start of my journey of creating the Front-Line Heroes Series. I was so touched when I saw a post on a friend’s Facebook page of her daughter who is a nurse in the New York area. They had been putting in long hard hours as more and more people were being admitted into the hospital where she works fighting the pandemic, this horrible COVID 19 virus.
When my friend explained how honored and pleased her daughter, the other nurses, doctors and all the staff at the hospital were as the fire department came to the hospital and hoist the American flag in their honor. It touched my heart, I knew at that point I had to capture Caitlin’s moment as she walked out of the hospital, taking a much-needed break to see the lights as they shined on the flag.
As I looked at the photo of Caitlin, I saw joy, energy, yet fatigue. How I wanted to capture her essence and to portray what I felt in a painting. Using bright colors, staying away from realistic colors I poured my feelings into this painting. I wanted energy yet I wanted her eyes to show the fatigue but her joy in life and helping such extremely ill patients. I didn’t realize doing a portrait where you don’t see the whole face would be as challenging as it is. You’re only showing emotion in her eyes, you can’t see a frown or a smile, the stress or happy creases around her mouth. So, the challenge was to show that emotion in her eyes and forehead, while using color to help evoke the viewer to see and feel what I saw in that photo.
I would like to introduce Caitlin. I hope you see and feel her emotions as a nurse battling the COVID 19 virus. I hope is some small way my painting of Caitlin shows my gratitude to our Front-Line Heroes and thanks them. This is a horrible disease; I wonder how our Front-Line Heroes will deal with what they have witnessed if their fight to help people. I don’t know if I am a strong enough person to be walking in their shoes.
Hugs and love to our Heroes!