The new issue of International Artist magazine includes a portrait of Mrs. Zimmerman by Rose Frantzen, along with the following commentary by the artist:
“Grace Zimmerman is the subject of my portrait. As I painted her, I discovered Mr. Zimmerman, the wife, the history teacher, county treasurer, the Iowan; and the little girl who found her father’s dead body, then was shuffled about the countryside as her widow mother strove to support her family in a world that was not ready to let women do so. Grace, at 80, is now the woman her mother was disallowed to be. She is the widowed Mrs. Zimmerman, the former teacher, now the comedian, the actor in the community theatre, the dancing lady on the cruise ship, the mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, the writer, and the active citizen. She has come into her own and is in her joy.
“I painted her in the sun dappled shade, meeting the viewer in her history teacher stance with the light reflecting off her glasses. There is a world behind this woman and she meets you with a hint of knowing a bit about it.
“When looking at portraits, if there is too much of the artist in the mix, I feel it is not a portrait of the person, but of the artist. I don’t always see this, because I get caught up in the great execution, the artist’s style, or an exquisite area of brush work,. Yet, if I have a quiet moment in front of such a painting, I might observe that only the artist is expressed. Ideally, you meet the person in the portrait, and the artist seems like a witness that allows all this to be seen. There is something in the balance of the artist’s interpretation and the subject’s qualities.”
Rose Frantzen works
International Artist magazine
Portrait of Maquoketa (book of her portraits of townsmembers)