The two most recent portraits I've worked on have been couples; Christoph and Shaka and Michael and Robert. I was looking forward to painting Christoph's Marimekko patterned suit (he posed in it at my request); I have a nostalgic fondness for Marimekko from the "Danish Modern" aesthetic that was popular in some of my friends' households when I was young. I always loved those big bold splashes of color.
Michael and Robert also put a great deal of effort into their outfits, creating a wonderful puzzle for me to articulate with paint.
The challenge thus far for me in painting the couples is in find a palette and tone that embraces them both and allow the figures to sit happily in the same pictorial space.
As with all of these portraits, I am myself more and more intrigued by the space that the figures sit in. These paintings talk to each other as they emerge. I am waiting to see where this conversation goes.
Elizabeth de Bethune is a Yonkers-based artist, and member of the LGBTQ+ community. She makes portraits of her family and friends. "Out in Yonkers" is a project to document some of the Yonkers LGBTQ+ community in formal portraits that will preserve our images for posterity.