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Close Reading: Gwen I

abby rose's picture

For my close reading, I chose Chris Rush's portrait Gwen I from his portrait series titled "17 Portraits." Dsiplayed digitally, Gwen I is framed by a simple white border. The painting features a young woman, presumably named Gwen, seated at a table in a wooden chair with her left arm draped on the back. The portrait shows Gwen from the waist up, as the rest of her body is obscured by the table. Her right hand is hidden below the surface of the table. Gwen is seated so that her head is slightly left of the center of the frame. Her dark brown hair is pulled back and her full face is illuminated by the light cast from the upper left. For attire, we see nothing but a long-sleeved black shirt with a slightly loose collar. The coloring of the portrait is consistently neutral: the wall a grayish-yellow, her shirt black, her hair dark brown, and her skin creamy, pink-white. The light is soft, but sheds light on Gwen in her entirety. A shadow is cast on the wall behind her. Gwen's gaze is slightly off-center, and she looks as if she is deep in thought.