New Model and Concept: Phoenix Rising

I had a long conversation several weeks ago with one of my beautiful models. We have only met in person once, years ago, but I feel like we have a very strong bond. Every time we talk on the phone to discuss her story and collaborating on #wildwomanportraits, I feel like we have traveled very similar paths. It is often a very emotional exchange for both of us.

Anita is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and it is very difficult to hear her story. The trauma she has endured and her long path to healing are devastating to comprehend. Her journey is still developing, and I am honored to be a part of her healing process. The portraits we are developing together will encompass a great deal of symbolism and mutual story-telling.


I sent Anita her sketches first for her portrait concept based on our previous conversation. It didn’t take long into that first conversation to realize that we’re walking a very similar path of healing and self-actualization.
I kept feeling compelled to use phoenix imagery and a quote about coming from darkness into light. I can’t begin to express how humbling it was to hear the emotion in her beautiful voice when she described how well this simple sketch captures her pain and struggle, balanced by hope for healing and growth.

I am extremely pleased with the final outcome of the initial concept. In all honesty, I really hated it the last few days I was working on it, for reasons I will discuss in a separate post. After working on other projects for a couple of weeks, I caught a glimpse of Anita’s portrait across my studio and realized that I had been unfair to myself and the painting. I now have a second idea forming and plans for large scale paintings in oils based on my initial concepts.


I feel very strongly that 2021 is going to be an amazing year. Thank you for sharing my journey.

Do you have a concept you would like to share or a story you would like to tell? Please respond with your thoughts and become a collaborative partner for #wildwomanportraits.

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