"Karen" / by Tom Montan

This is a portrait of the love of my life - my lifetime partner and best friend Karen. I submitted this to last years BP Portrait Contest. Although I wasn’t accepted into that show, I was so honored to receive a “Best In Show” when submitted to the Mohawk Valley Art Center’s annual exhibition in Little Falls New York. This show was juried by none other than one of my favorite people in Upstate New York, Mary Murray Department Head, Curatorial and Exhibitions and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Museum of Art and the Munson William Proctor Art Institute. This was such an honor. Full portrait can be seen HERE.

I painted this piece last year as a way to try to bridge the many miles between Karen & I as we live apart for several years (Karen in California & I in New York). I love upstate New York for its beauty and quirky edges, but absolutely hate the separation from Karen.

We have had some debate about how many wrinkles she actually has on her forehead in this portrait, but I hope that the love I feel for this most fascinating, talented and utterly brilliant person shines through.Her willingness to be painted by me is a huge step for someone as private as Karen.

I was excited to begin my experimentation with background texture on this piece. I have, for many years, admired the work of a portrait painter David Jon Kassan who skillfully and adeptly mingles edgy rough backgrounds with crisp detailed portraits. So this piece is the beginning of many future experiments!