Keeping Vigil by Lauren A. Mills

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Lauren A. Mills

Keeping Vigil


60.96 x 30.48 cm | 24 x 12 in

Oil on panel

  • ARC Purchase Awards ($12,000)

This work is in the Collection of the Art Renewal Center.

I painted an umber underpainting for Keeping Vigil on a birch panel of which I had applied a smooth ground. I then added layers of paint to the focal areas, especially the face, and let other areas stay more transparent and loose. I wanted to create an other worldly feel to the background that melted into her cloak. I thought of the character as a nature spirit or faerie that protects her woodland home. The model was a six-year-old girl of mixed descent, namely African and European. On a larger, metaphorical scale, she represents today's children keeping vigil over an environment that is in peril. Her crossed arms are self-protective and the direct look at the viewer is commanding and interrogative.