36 x 41cm
Miss Champ-de-Mars
14" x 16", acrylic, October, 2009

Johanne is one of the most wonderful individuals I know. A make-up artist for MAC Cosmetics, she exudes calmness and maturity that is very refreshing in today's stressful world. Johanne saw one of my Subway Series paintings a couple of years ago and told me that she would like to be in one of them. Of course, I hate when that happens because no matter how beautiful or unique a person is, it remains my decision whether a person appears in one of my paintings or not. The eureka moment when I realize that I must immortalize someone in a painting remains my moment and my inner moment alone.

Luckily, Johanne works in a very creative environment. One day, MAC Cosmetics was having a special event where all the make-up artists were dressed in black and wearing top hats. When I saw Johanne sporting a top hat, I had my EUREKA moment! The gals all looked good in the top hats, but Johanne seemed to stand out from all of them. I think it was her short hair and slightly angular features that did it. I approached her and suggested a painting of her sporting the top hat. At first, she thought that I was joking, but when an idea for a painting comes to me and I describe that idea to the person, he or she can see that I am passionate about immortalizing them in that way. She immediately consulted her agenda to schedule a time for the posing session. I love these moments!

I really have to give credit to her during the posing session. After 15 minutes or so trying to find a good pose for her, I was starting to get discouraged. I said to her in desperation, " Johanne, help me, nothing is working. Give me a pose that will work." Before I could blink, she turned to one side in the chair, crossed her arms, gave me this look, and said, "This is it". WOW! The woman was amazing. Smooth, calm, and sure about herself with those khaki-green reptilian eyes looking at me. God, I love this Subway Series!