16 x 20
acrylic on canvas

 I've always enjoyed painting elders...they have real character and have always been more interesting for me to paint in terms of the planes and forms that light can play off on the face. I also feel, in some ways, like an old soul myself. I enjoy the contrast between the beauty of youth  and the struggles of life that deteriorate and degrade that beauty, which in itself is beautiful for the experience and wisdom it imparts...the beautiful struggle called life, which gets etched into every line and wrinkle in all our faces.  

This particular elder is of the Hamer peoples of southern Ethiopia. The clay hair bun and ostrich feather head-dress he is wearing are traditional symbols of virility, status and masculinity.

The motif in the background was done free-hand, with touches of gold representing royalty.