Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jamaican Woman by Theresa Oats

This beautiful young woman who posed for our life drawing group back in the 1990's struck us as both exotic and somber.  Word had it that she was from Jamaica originally, but later, a friend who once lived in that part of the world said her features are not typical for that area.
 Most everyone came up with an interesting piece of art because her chiseled features highlighted by the sheen of her complexion inspired creativity.
I  painted in oils on canvas paper from life.
An fellow artist named 'Rose' purchased it while it was on exhibit at a local gallery.


  1. Beautiful painting! But what nonsense is this: "Her features are not typical for that area." I am Jamaican. First, the model looks like a couple of people I know, right here in Kingston, Jamaica. Second, there are all types of features here. We are mainly and mostly of African descent. Many people also have one or two non-African ancestors somewhere on their family tree. (For example, of my nieces' and nephew's 16 great great grand parents, 10 were probably African, 1 European, 2 Syrian, 2 Chinese, and 1 Indian.) Apart from multiracial Jamaicans, there are also white Jamaicans, Chinese Jamaicans, Indian Jamaicans, etc. - small minorities, it is true, but they are no less Jamaican. If you see one of them outside of Jamaica, are you going to deny their Jamaicanness because "their features are not typical of (i.e. the most common in) the country"? That statement makes as much sense for a Jamaican as it does for an American. In other words, "typical features" only has limited utility, to describe what "most" people in a particular country look like. They can never be used to determine that a particular INDIVIDUAL "could not be" or "must be" from a particular place.