One thing I do remember about my grandmother was that she was extremely loyal, to her husband, to family and to her friends. My Grandfather must have never doubted her as she followed him to a very remote area to break in land for a farm, she took on his Polish/German grandmother who did not speak a word of English, who by all accounts was slipping into dementia. There, she produced 4 children in a space of 6 years. She must have had great love for him to do that, as she came from a prosperous farming family who had come out to NZ in one of the first settler boats.
In photos that I have seen of her as a young woman she looked rather stern and plain, but I know she had a romantic side to her and great compassion. I remember her always wearing pretty flowery dresses, and her scrap books were full of flowers and pretty things. I did her in pastel first as I wanted to portray her as a young pretty romantic girl, I know that she was that in her heart.
One of my most cherished memories is when at family 'get togethers', she would often take me aside and whisper in my ear “When I look into your eyes I see heaven!” Then I would whisper back, “My eyes are green, yours are blue, so the heavens are in your eyes!” Then we both would giggle. It is only as a grown up, that I realize what she was doing. I was quiet, shy and also plain. In her way, she was telling me appearances don't matter, it is what in your heart that matters. So that is why I am portraying her as a young beauty for that what was in her heart. I am sure my Grandfather saw that also, for he often referred to her as “My beautiful Alice in Wonderland.”
The processes for this picture were a pastel of the young Alice, A woodcut of the Husband, and a photograph of concrete. Then I played around with them in Photoshop.