Syd Batch 2 CropOil on Canvas

Size:  W. 20″ X H. 16″

Date:  August 14, 2013

As her bothers did, I always called her “Syd”, but her real name was Sylvia Faye (Pope) Brown.  In 2006 I was in Lawrence, Kansas where she lived near her son, John Gary Brown. While at his house and waiting for lunch to be put out on the table, I simply said, “Syd, look here, I want to take your picture,” and in a split second I had her personality. I had always wanted to paint her and finally got around to it just in the last two weeks, three years after she passed away here in Charlotte.

Although untrained in anything pertaining to art, she always had an eye for it and I would frequently ask her opinion. Undoubtedly she would have something to say about this one. I think she’d say, “I think you got me alright but you could’a done better if you would’a…” and she’d be mostly right.

I have just started oil painting again. After forty years, this is my second portrait and I think a substantial improvement over the first one. Sometimes I would like to do a classic like Van Dyke might do but I don’t have the skills or patience. I have kept this one contemporary in style. The one thing for sure, it is Syd and she could get up from the chair and walk off of the canvas.