Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Cailyn Listening by Judy Biesanz

  • Title: Cailyn Listening
  • Artist: Judy Biesanz
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Size: 6.5"h  x 4.5"w
  • Creation date: 2012
  • Added to collection: 2014
  • Donor: Gift of Mark Andres
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B7/2 SW rear gallery

This tiny painting, Cailyn Listening, no bigger than the palm of one's hand, may be one of the smallest works in the Rock Creek Art Collection, but it has a large presence.  A young woman sits listening to music only she can hear, her body relaxed, yet in concentration.  She looks to the side, not to us, and there is a strong inwardness implied, so that even the rhythms of shapes on the wallpaper or of her hair on her dark sweater seem to imply the music she is hearing.  It is rare that a portrait can evoke such inwardness.  The oil paint is handled with swift but precise strokes-- the colors beautifully related, especially on the fleeting reflections of sunlight on her face.  The painting celebrates a moment observed-- so ordinary, yet rich in its sense of imagining the life of another. One approaches it like a secret.