The photographer was the mother of Annie Irwin, former wife of Jed Irwin, whom I had met in Spokane when Jed was the art curator of what was then Cheney Cowles Museum (now the Museum of Northwest Art and Culture.) I was on my way to Montreal, as I had just been declared delinquent by the U. S. Board of Military Draft, and was subject to immediate deployment to Vietnam. Many people of my age that were opposed to the war were going to Canada, to escape the draft.
I sent the photo to my mother, after I arrived in Montreal. Several years after I had returned to the States, I saw the photo amongst her things and offered to do a painting for her in exchange for the photo’s return. This painting, faithfully rendered from the original photograph, was the result.
Many years later, the painting hung on the wall in my father’s room at the nursing home where my parents resided. It was eventually lost, probably stolen, as many things of value are stolen from the elderly by the nurses, attendants and orderlies that are supposed to be caring for them. Alas, I’ve lost the photo too, a casualty of the nomadic lifestyle that artists are prone to. This image was scanned from a faded old slide, the only evidence I have that the painting ever existed.
Udate: This painting has been found! It was not stolen after all, but had been retrieved by a relative and put in a closet and forgotten. It has since been rediscovered and returned to my studio. I still assert that nursing home subjects are subject to theft by orderlies, (and subject to rape and other abuses!) However, in this instance it was simply the conscientious act of a regrettably forgetful kin.