The Story Behind the Painting: “Carol”

Irena Roman challenges stereotypical views of aging in her current series of watercolor portraits.

“Carol” (watercolor)

Carol is a transparent watercolor from ‘Second Wind,’ a current series of narrative, figurative portraits that challenge stereotypical views of aging,” says Irena Roman. “This body of work focuses on the vitality and creativity of individuals who have discovered a new, post-retirement vocation; their active, passionate engagement with creative pursuits developed after the age of sixty-five.

“At best, our youth-obsessed culture turns a blind eye to seniors, but by the year 2050, twenty percent of the U.S. population will be ages 65 and older. Now, more than ever, positive metaphors about aging are necessary! My goal with this series is to exemplify the grace and wisdom of those who possess a wealth of knowledge that can only be obtained through a lifetime of experience.

“After retiring from an exciting career as an actress and piano instructor, Carol Carter decided to take a writing class, which motivated her to write, illustrate, self-publish and market her own book, loosely based on her life adventures. A charming, vivacious, and down-to-earth woman, I chose to depict her from a low, dramatic vantage point in order that the viewer might feel as though they’re sitting at her feet listening to her weave a fascinating story. Ultimately, what I’m interested in is uncovering the intangible, ethereal nature of my subject matter and striving to preserve that fleeting illusion of presence. Carol is a bonafide role model. I’ve learned so much from her and feel privileged to have been able to paint her.”

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