Algerian Immigrant, Ellis Island

Oil on Arches oil paper, 11×14″

Back to the portraits in oils today. I still have another five of these that I’ve begun, but I’m having so much fun and I’m finding the others that I’ve been doing lately so satisfying that these portraits have gone on the back burner for a while.

Having said that, I’m particularly pleased with this one. I don’t see fear in his gaze but rather a calm confidence and determination to face whatever unknowns lie ahead.

This fellow is part of my American Hero series. So why do I call him an American Hero? He left his country with everything he knew, including possibly his language, to start again in a strange land where he was a stranger to the culture, the laws and pretty much everything else. A brave and heroic move indeed! But he came and became part of the story of America, coming through Ellis Island as my mother did. Adding his story to the story of America.

PS — I’d love for you to join me on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. It would mean so much to me and it would help keep me in painting supplies! YOU get be an art patron, and you don’t have to spend a million dollars!


Sarah Winnemecca, American Hero

10×10″ Oil on watercolor paper

Back to my American Heroes series!

Sarah Winnemucca was an amazing woman at a time when women and Native Americans were given little respect. So much more than I can relate here. Try this link from the Nevada Women’s History Project for a good overview of her remarkable life.

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