Pastel Portraits~ Mrs P
Pink was a good color on Mrs. P, it teased out the rosy undertones in her soft skin and made her eyes appear all the more blue green by contrast. I recall looking closely into her eyes as a child and saw that they weren’t green at all but rather, blue-grey with yellow rings around the pupils. I remember how she loved that particular color that both she and my grandmother called sky-blue pink.
I don’t know how it was that my mother came to be called “Mrs P,” perhaps it was a neighborhood kid that couldn’t pronounce our last name or maybe it was my Italian sister-in-law when she first came to visit from Bergamo. Wherever it originated, the moniker has become an endearment and the way we refer to her now.
Layers of memories unfold as the layers of pastel combine to solidify my mother’s form. Her portrait has become my meditation on her spirit. What reveals the essence of someone? Each day I see some new expression, another recognition of the complexity of the person she was.
Melody Phaneuf is an award-winning Boston Artist, well known for her evocative still life, landscape, and portrait paintings. She has exhibited at The National Arts Club in New York City, Galerie Herouet in Paris, and with Art du Monde, in Japan. Her paintings are regularly on view at The Guild of Boston Artists in Boston, Ma; North Shore Arts in Gloucester, Ma; and Patricia Hutton Galleries in Doylestown, Pa.
Phaneuf maintains a studio at Fenway Studios in Boston, where she paints and holds workshops, continuing the Boston School lineage.
Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo, features Phaneuf’s original oil paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and beverage coasters, fine art prints, and handmade note cards.