The title of my series is “Behind Every Great Country.”
Have you ever heard that old saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman?”
Each of the painting in this series is about 4’ x 5’, created in oil paint on self-stretched, self-built canvases.
On each painting, “There is a great woman” is written in the languages of each woman’s motherland, including Philippines, Finland, India, and Colombia: Tagalog, Finnish, Gujarati, and Spanish. I only ever used red, white, blue, or Pthalo blue. I also only used white in two of them, so that when they are displayed, they recall red and white stripes.
This series is a celebration of what women, and in particular, women from all nations, have contributed to the United States of America. Like the original saying, “behind every great man is a great woman” was commandeered to empower women (ironic considering its original undertones), I now use the phrase “behind every great country is a great woman” and presidential portraits of ordinary-yet-extraordinary women to recognize their immeasurable and underestimated Grit.
This painting represents the first of the four paintings. It is a painting of my lola (“grandmother” in Tagalog), who immigrated to the United States to earn her medical degree. She married another medical student who immigrated from the Philippines, and together, they became respected doctors and had four children – my father and his three brothers.