Diana Belenky - The Awakening

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Diana Belenky - The Awakening

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The Awakening" is a painting of my friend. I did many paintings of this particular friend while I was living in Los Angeles. I was inspired by her sweet and loving energy. She had a brilliant smile and made me laugh. I noticed a lightness of being in her and painted her in a relaxed and natural gesture.

She was an Orthodox Jew who followed strict laws but was also open minded and a free spirit. We spoke about religion, art, men and how our lives were unfolding. We were both in the process of formulating our identities. She would come over in long skirts and yet pose semi-nude. In Orthodox Judaism, women adhere to codes of conduct. Modesty laws would restrict her from posing for me in the way that she did. However, she was more carefree and unrestricted in her thinking. She had a respect for tradition but not to the degree that it would over-rule her own judgement. 

I could see her trying to balance two worlds. I was not sure which way she would ultimately go.