My First 40 Years
Zoe 1994 oil on linen 50x40" collection of the artist
I had done a number of paintings of Zoe in the nude and looking like “a Playboy bunny,” in her terms. (See Honeymoon Portrait, number 20 and Drawings of Zoe Sleeping, number 3. There were others, too.) Once she said, "Can’t you just make a portrait of me looking beautiful?"
One of my favorite paintings of a beautiful woman is John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw. So I posed Zoe in the most beautiful gown we owned (her wedding dress) in a position similar to the Lady’s. My studio in Rochester, one of the bedrooms in a two-bedroom apartment, didn’t have very good lighting, so I had to use outside light on her right and a spot light on her left. The light made her eyes water, and as annoying as it must have been, she gave me almost six months of Saturday morning sittings to do this portrait. I accidentally splattered blue paint on her wedding dress.