About This Painting
Mary was a stranger to me the day I asked her if I could paint her portrait. I was struck by her wonderful multi-braided hair and dark, dark skin.
“Excuse me…” I said, interrupting her thoughts. I was going to ask her if I might possibly use her as a head model for study.
She turned and smiled a beyond-radiant smile. We talked for a bit and I explained what I do and that I’d like to paint her. I also mentioned I was being awarded a First Place at a local gallery’s juried show and invited her to the reception.
She showed up with two of her nieces, who were equally beautiful, and whom I eventually painted, too.
All three young women are originally from Kenya, and Mary is aunt to the other two. They are named Dama and Dama — they are each the first daughter in their respective families and, following tradition, are named after their maternal grandmother who is, of course, Dama. ◙