Artwork / Empathetic Magic / Blue and Molly Fitting In and Standing Out

portraits of two black women
Gwenn Seemel
Spotlight (Blue and Molly Fitting In) and Love (Blue and Molly Standing Out)
acrylic on bird’s eye piqué
each painting 18 inches in diameter

$1800  |  $1800

Molly could probably tell I was anxious. Looking back, I can see that’s almost certainly why she started talking with me. We were at a gallery event where I would be doing a little speech. I was muttering to myself, trying to work out what I’d say. The moment Molly appeared, all that fell away. Shortly afterwards, Blue arrived and immediately launched into a million questions, an approach that I would come to discover was her specialty.

From the start, I knew I was inviting them to be a part of my series so I could have an excuse to get to know them better. It only worked out as well as it did because Molly found excuses too. She offered to give me a ride home so I didn't have to take the bus after a photo-session. Later, she asked me to help her make a painting for Blue, and we met weekly at my studio.

Meanwhile, Blue had her own way of making excuses. She would invite my partner and me to her performances, and also ask my sweetie to play bass at some of her gigs. But her approach could be more direct too. After one of the interviews we did, she said suddenly, “do you have friends?” And then, “will you be my friend?”

You can watch me paint Spotlight or see the making of Love.

painterly portrait
detail image
painterly portrait
detail image