In addition to the official portrait for the St Joseph Hospital, I was happy to present two more portraits to the family for their personal enjoyment.
Here is my speech of October 29th, presented at the official unveiling at the hospital:
Hello everyone. Thank you so much for that warm reception. When I paint, I am sharing more than a visual experience, I am sharing a feeling. There is an energy contained in the canvas of an original painting. It’s my hope that that energy edifies. That it be a light.
So when I was asked to paint this portrait of Russell Ebeid I wanted to learn more about him. I wanted to talk to his family and hear the stories behind the legend. I wanted to learn what kind of man he was so that I could get a feeling of Russ. Capture a part of his personality, his essence.
I spoke with those closest to him and studied countless photos and videos. I learned about a leader who asked questions and empowered others. A humble, grounded, kind man, who was comfortable in his own skin.
So when I painted Russell Ebeid I set out to capture his warmth and compassion for others. In my portrait he is listening and connecting to us. This portrait is not just about him; it’s about you and me.
But when you look at the portrait from across the room or when you get closer to it, I’d like you to ask yourself, what are you feeling? What energy are you sensing? It is my hope that you and people a hundred years from now, people who we’ve never met, can feel his presence here, in this beautiful space he helped make possible.