Lady in Distress
Lady in Distress, oil on 22×48 canvas, framed. This painting is based on a black and white photograph of Billie Holiday taken during her last recording session. As I did with another of my Billie Holiday portraits, I used Prussian blue and Naples to capture the spectral sense of ghostliness and hopelessness reflected in those photographs. The album resulting from the last recording session entitled “Last Recording” is Billie’s last album. It was released in 1959. Lester Young, a saxophonist and Billie Holiday’s lifelong friend and music partner died on March 15, 1959. Ms. Holiday died four months later on July 17, 1959 at the age of 44.