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   The Artist's Mother

June 2002- August 2003: The 2002 Doug Moran Portrait Prize

Josonia Palaitis' portrait, The Artist's Mother, has been selected as a finalist for the 2002 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. Jo won the 1994 Doug Moran Prize with a portrait of her father, illustrator John Mills. Her mother sat for this portrait shortly before being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Sensing an imminent change in her mother, Jo wanted to grasp her feisty spirit and depict this as the essence of the portrait.


The painting was very well received. International judge Irene Martin, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, wrote of Josonia's work:

'In the photo realistic portrait of her mother, Josonia Palaitis displays her virtuosity with the brush. She has taken great pleasure in painting the various texture of the textiles and hard surfaces in the painting: the cushions, afghan, towel, sweater, velour pants, floor and leather shoes. All these textures of the inanimate subjects are used to focus attention on the animated lines of age, pain and experience shown on her face in excruciating detail. The only element that is an abstraction is the unidentifiable object behind the seat with its sharp points, which seem to reflect her pain.'


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