This story is about drawing my mother’s portrait in a twenty-minute timed session. She is in her late sixties, but I am not sure of her birth year or birthdate. She has changed. She has mellowed out over the years.
Capturing likeness is the aim. She is a willing model. She wants to please. She sits down and I begin. The forehead does not move. Facial muscles around the eyes don’t move. Eyebrows don’t move. They are thick, as they are penciled-in dark.
Eyelids move. Eyeballs move.
Her eyebrows point up; they didn’t before. The end of her eyes where the eyelids meet also point up; they didn’t before. That’s one botched botox job. She is frugal.
Her husband of fifty years wants to leave her. She chewed his ass growing up. He withdrew. She pursued. He withheld.
Old people break up the same way young people do. There is back and forth. There are acts designed to cause jealousy. There is reluctance. There is attraction. There is repulsion.
She lost weight. He lost weight and fixed his teeth. Divorce papers are drawn up, but not filed. Fifty years is a long time.
I am down to her chin now. She has facial hair. She didn’t before. They are bleached but not removed. That double chin can be captured with shading. Time’s up.
Hooman Khoshnood began his artistic career five years ago, after practicing law for over a decade. He began painting at an early age. But his approach to art-making became more conceptual while studying with Laura LLaneli, a sound art artist, and Marc Larre, a photographer. Mr. Khoshnood was also mentored by Giancarlo Bargoni, a renowned Italian painter in painting and theory. They also explored possible connections between painting and poetry. Mr. Khoshnood continued his studies in art at the Art Students League of New York where his painting “Unknown to me” was published as exemplary student work in the League’s 2017/18 catalog. Mr. Khoshnood obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Doctorate in Law both from the University of Georgia. He is also an avid reader focusing on Linguistics, Literature, and Art History. He was born in Iran and has lived in Iran, Italy, Canada, France, Spain, and the United States. He is fluent in English, Farsi, and Italian. He considers Atlanta home.