Catherine Prescott

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Legacy: Portrait of Val
Oil on canvas, 2010
Collection of the artist

 

The driving force behind my portraits is the conviction that a person’s interiority can be articulated visually. The painting begins with my connection to an emotion in the subject. Everything in the painting must support that feeling. I am not trying to illustrate an anecdote or make a statement.

This portrait is about my friend Valerie and her father, who left her a legacy of artistic gifts and impulses. She grew up in a house that was his grand project but that he never finished. A table saw had always been in place of a dining table; some rooms remained mere frames.

When he died, the house became an albatross around Val’s neck. I pictured her in her father’s basement shop, a place that both inspires and confounds her. 

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