Last summer, I had the privilege of living in Kenya for two months with my husband and son while we did some film work. Throughout our time there, I met many women, representing a variety of tribes and classes. Two of the main common qualities among the breadth of them, however, were undeniably, beauty and strength. One woman in particular who I had the opportunity to interact with almost daily was called Momma John. (In Kenya, it is the culture to refer to a woman by "Momma" and then the name of her firstborn child. So I got to be Momma River while there.) Momma John is a fiercely stunning and fiercely strong human. She accomplished tiring work in a few hours, tasks that would have taken me days to complete, and she did so in laughter instead of stress. One day in particular, I turned the corner into the kitchen and was taken aback by the vision of Momma John, her hair wrapped in golden African cloth, while washing dishes in the afternoon sun. To me, she was a queen. The dignity she maintained in her posture while performing such an ordinary task humbled me, and from that moment, the inspiration for this painting was born. I hope this portrait of her moves you as it has me.
This original painting is available for sale here.