A Portrait of Dorothy Day

By Mia Nussbaum '01

In college I painted a portrait of Dorothy Day. Working from a black-and-white photo, I drew her as I saw her—an old woman with a child’s expression on her mouth, her eyes large behind round glasses, her shoulders curled forward, as though to better listen. My assignment was to underpaint the shadows with vivid colors, then to smooth over it all with muted skin tones. But the assignment became a meditation, and the plywood portrait came out loud: Day with blue streaks in her hair, a maroon mouth, black-violet eyes, the light high-yellow on her cheeks.…

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