36 x 25cm
Miss McGill
14" x 10", acrylic, November, 2007

Karine is a young mother, and appropriately, she works in the children's department in a big retail store. She looks rather shy and reserved at first glance leading you to believe that she would never pose for a painting, but to my surprise, she was open to the idea right away. Of course, I have a weakness for redheads. I always do a Cary Grant double take when I see a redhead. In Karine's case, I actually did a triple take. Why? Those blue eyes. You rarely see redheads with blue eyes. I couldn't pass up this opportunity.

I honestly did not care what kind of clothing she was going to wear because I knew the strength of the painting was going to rest in her face, but now, I realize that the thick, black, knitted sweater that she put on was the best thing that could have happened. I can see three important elements that the sweater brings to this painting. First, the stitched design and highlighted buttons of the sweater are definitely eye-catching. Second, the black sweater complements the black McGill sign, balancing out the painting. Third, and possibly the most important element of them all, the bottle neck shape of the sweater seems to prop up her face in a royal manner. A friend of mine told me that Karine has an Elizabethan type of face. I like that observation. Of course, he thought that she should wear an Elizabethan dress as well. Great idea, but not very appropriate for this subway series!