I began this pastel a few months ago and stopped before completion when I felt unsure of how to proceed with it. On a whim I took it with me to an outdoor art show early in the summer and a very lovely lady saw it and fell in love! She called me last week and asked if I had finished the piece because she wanted to purchase it . The period of time I had left it "fallow" was more than sufficient for my brain to be working on it in the background, apparently, because I was able to complete it in one day. It is a sort of companion piece to the "Lisa" oil painting, being the same model, but the intention for the portrait was different. In the first Lisa piece I concentrated on the quiet but intense confidence I saw in her expression and her holding of a vase of silk Hydrangeas seemed a confirmation of that expression in that the flowers are delicate yet permanent...no wilting was going to happen. In this piece, done in the more fragile medium of pastel, she cradles a rare and wonderful Lyrebird. All in life is elusive and possession of anything is temporary - Lisa's wistful , almost weary expression conveys that sad knowledge. She wraps her arms around the bird, his tail embraces her head, and they share a comforting, if fleeting, connection. This tells a story, as do all portraits, and I am pleased to be part of an upcoming exhibit in January, 2010 at the Campbell River Art Gallery on this very topic. Titled appropriately, "Telling Stories" the works will include several artists who deal with portraiture but in very different styles and mediums.