Claire, 2012, Yvonne Muinde, Oil on canvas, 24" x 30", $4,300

Original size is 780 × 1000 pixels

“This woman on the bench had a gaze that could only be described as a thousand-mile stare. There are parts of Oakland, California that have a strong sense of neighbourhood identity. As I walked around the neighbourhood with my partner, unsure if I should take Claire’s photo to see what I could make of her staring straight forward, she turned slowly and looked right down my lens and into my eyes. I snapped the picture and went home to paint. When I finished, my partner took the painting to show it to Claire, but unfortunately she was gone. After asking around, he learned that Claire had passed away. Maybe that’s what she was staring at; the inevitable end. I guess I will never know. All I can say is the neighbourhood was not the same with out her.” — Yvonne Muinde