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Artist's Statement

Artist's Statement - January, 2008

Gradiva Couzin

Portraits and Copies of Old Masters, paintings in oil.

Born: July 22, 1970, Chicago, Illinois

I have been painting seriously for about 15 years, professionally since 1998. I train myself in an ongoing way by copying old masters, drawing and painting models, and by the continual trial and error process of a working artist. My goal is to create portraits that depict the beauty I see around me every day.

I chose to focus on portraiture because the face is what I love most, what I respond to in other artwork, what I find most beautiful, and also what seems to speak to others. I love the fact that portraits become heirlooms, that they hang with pride in living rooms, that families look at them and talk about them and remember them, and that a portrait painting may become a real part of somebody's daily emotional life.

I want to paint portraits that the subjects will love and pass down to their children. I'm humbled and honored that my subjects have trusted me to make their portrait. I'm grateful to be invited into my subjects' lives and their families, and it is the greatest satisfaction to me when I know that my work brings them joy.