Capturing an essence of you

One of my two amazing nieces is a very talented artist. She finishes high school this year and has been accepted into a very prestigious design school in the United States. She is working on a series of portraits where she places people in a context that captures their state of mind – or their essence. This is a portrait she did of me and it’s called Memories of Africa. The leaves are cut out of a copy of the novel, The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. If you haven’t read this book it tells stories about mysteries solved by the only female detective Precious Ramotswe who runs her agency in Botswana. The stories are delightful and capture the African milieu perfectly as Precious tumbles through a hotbed of African problems. I love this picture of me – for one I am so proud of my niece for doing such a clever piece of work; for another reason I think it captures a part of my sprit that is still deeply connected to Africa and deeply influenced by stories and storytelling. So this got me thinking…

If someone were to capture you in a portrait what kind of context  should they place you in? How would an artist portray your essence?

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