In 2001 I received a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. I used this grant to paint a series of portraits of local Washingtonians: Joe Ruffin (artist), Anna Maria (restaurant owner and entrepreneur), Kelly and Maze (Twins Jazz owners), Mohammad Ali (local TV host), Peter Fraize (jazz saxophonist), and Federal Jazz Commission (dixieland band). I painted the musicians from the many sketches I did during their performances; they lent me their music as the sound tracks for the paintings. The rest of the people set for me in my studio. I recorded them speaking as I painted them.
The sound quality isn't great unfortunately; this was before iphones, so I used just a basic recorder.
Anna Maria was our local restaurant entrepreneur and founder of the former "Anna Maria" restaurant in Dupont Circle. In this interview, while posing for me for this painting, she tells stories from her life, her arrival to the United States by a boat from Italy, her struggles and achievements. Keep an ear for my personal favorite about Marlene Dietrich.
Anna Maria, oil on canvas, 40x30, 2001