Friday, July 20, 2012

Milena Jesenska

hello people of the world!

After a week of fun in the sun,
I was in the mood last night for something soft
and monotone
and relatively easy to finish
before going to bed.

It was 10pm by the time i started painting.

This is Milena Jesenska
a writer from Prague -
who died in Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1944.

Whenever i think of the victims of the Holocaust,
i can't help but wonder what these people
would have become
had they been given the chance to live.

Had they not been murdered.

How would they have changed the world?

I began this painting with my fingers,
thinking i would do the whole thing with my hands.

It's on a crap piece of cardboard i had in my 'stock' pile...
an empty, cut up, clean box of store bought pizza. :-)

I thought it would be cool to paint the lights
and let the cardboard peek through
as the darker color.

But then i quickly realized it would suck with just white,
so i added brown. 

...just these 2 colors, liquid acrylics.

And here she is, in all her glory,
obviously done rather quickly.

I ended up hiding the cardboard more than i wanted to,
but i love how you can still see it a bit
on her cheek.

...and on her shoulder.

I love that her writing keeps her memory alive.

Thank you all for visiting
and putting up with my rambling...



  1. Wonderful likeness and great recycling too. Thank you for sharing her story.
    Stay inspired!

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous portrait!
    I do love the hints of cardboard tone showing through, too!
    Such beautiful rich browns!
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  3. Hi Pauline,

    I love this painting! And a great story to go with it,


  4. Great post and your painting portrait is fantastic! ~~ thanks, ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

  5. You have made a very beautyful portrait!

  6. ...and so does your portrait of her keep her memory alive! I thank you for even thinking to do such a thing. Lest we never forget.

    It's beautiful what you've done and I too like that some of the cardboard shows through.

    I am deeply moved by this art.

  7. And I love that you kept her memory alive by painting her and sharing her. Knowing her story makes the portrait more poignant. Stunning work.

  8. Oh wow. So very inspiring both painting and topic wise. Thank you. I would have never known aboutnthis wonderful writer. Thank you for sharing, her memory does live on with the more we share. Popped in from paint party Friday

  9. So inspiring. I love how you kept it so simple with your palette, yet got absolutely stunning results. Great work. Happy PPF

  10. What a beautiful portrait done in a deceptively simple process. I love that you are using holocaust victims as your subjects. Thank you for sharing the memory of Milena with us.

  11. you make it look much easier than it is... I do wish I could capture people the way you do... absolutely awesome...xx

  12. she's just stunning Pauline. your ability to capture the essence of someone in a 'quick' painting always leaves me breathless xx

  13. Wow...that's all I can say!!! I can't believe the resemblance! As some of the others who posted, I too found it very interesting to learn about this woman.

  14. I love your portraits, Pauline, especially when you choose a person in history. You captured Milena beautifully. I didn't know of Milena Jesenska until I read this post and, yes, I think it's wonderful that she lives on through her writings. I feel deeply saddened when I think of all the people murdered during the tragic. :(

    Sadly, the human race can be very cruel and indifferent to one another, not to mention the other beautiful creatures we share this planet with. I wonder if we will ever learn.

    On a happier note, I hope you enjoy a beautiful weekend ~ xo

  15. Beautiful portrait, beautiful tribute!

  16. Such a beautiful portrait...the eyes especially. Thank you for sharing her story.

  17. BEAUTIFUL, simply beautiful... :]
    Both the painting and the story behind it.
    Cardboard, love it!!

  18. Wow you really brought this beautiful woman to life. Even the look in her eyes--she just sparkles right through that cardboard. Nicely done and very creative with the brown tones--it ends up looking like a photo in sepia.

  19. Pauline you are such a profound blogger! Always such powerful posts and artwork!! Thank goodness for you! Your piece this week is amazing...breathtaking. I love the two colors, that brown gave it a punch!! Thank you for keeping this subject alive!!

    Hugs Giggles

  20. Wonderful! You've really captured her essence through her eyes.

  21. What a beautiful, poignant portrait. I think the fact that you painted it with limited colors on such a disposable surface reinforces that.

  22. What a stunning piece! I love the story about her--unimaginable that all those PEOPLE were eliminated... You're right, who knows what they might have done/become...

  23. I am certainly enjoying the catch-up I am having with your blog. This portrait is A-Mazing! You have caught it all in her eyes, wow! I can look at the painting all day. This is GREAT!!!I have no more words, just great!

  24. So beautiful! Love her expression, and the light and shadows.