"A person is so much more than just what they look like."

Other examples of individual people.
Mother EarthPortraitsPeople • Portraits Sold • Musicians

Portrait of Madison

Detail 1, Detail 2, Detail 3
A two year old who loves dinosaurs
size 24" x 36"

Jessica Robards

Jean Woods - Botanist

Larry Mellichamp - Botanist

Rosemary Wheeler

Richard Childress

Matthew Harkey

Robbie Davis

Shelby Davis


24" wide x 72"
Acrylic paint and graphite.
$4000.00 SOLD


24" wide x 68"
Acrylic paint and graphite.
$4000.00 SOLD

Bill Moran

Anonymous Young Lady

Other portraits sold or donated*:
Art Collector, Ruth Julian
North Carolina School of the Arts; Winston-Salem, NC

Homeless Man, Johnny Green
Forsyth Community College; Winston-Salem, NC

Blacksmith, Ralph Zimmerman
Private Collection

Wildflower Gardner, Emily Allen
Piedmont Land Conservancy; Greensboro, NC

Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Tien-Shew William Huang
Private Collection

Wife & Mother, Bonnie Schultheiss
Private Collection

Folk Artist, James Harold Jennings
Museum of York County: York, SC

1st Grade Teacher, Barbara Cook
High Point University; High Point, NC

Fireman/Hero, Kurt Rowell

City of Winston-Salem; Winston-Salem, NC


Story telling is closely analogous to my work. Each painting is actually a connected series of images that tell a story…

The drawing of the person predominates each portrait with the overlapping and interlocking images of their “life” surrounding them much like a frame.

The medium is water-proof, color-fast durable acrylic paint on cotton duct canvas.

My style employs a technique of my own creation which allows the un-painted warm canvas to show through the surrounding painted areas to form a unique image. A pencil/graphite drawing depicts the individual and is drawn over the raw canvas. Stark white Gesso is then painted up to the edges of the figure. The contrast between the white and raw canvas serves to differentiate between the background and the portrait. Vibrant color areas are then contrasted with stark white negative spaces.

The color areas of my work have been described as a transparent, painted montage. Painted transparent scenes overlay each other to form a kaleidoscope of colors. These color areas depict the interests or life of the person in the portrait. These images can seem a bit surreal when many images overlap each other, but the meaning and depth of the painting deepens the longer one studies the piece. I am using the raw canvas to depict both the skin tone and the clothing of the individual. In some cases I am staining the canvas to indicate different skin tone.

I use different textures, such as matte varnish for the clothing and background areas, and gloss varnish for the skin.

The originality of the work, creating multiple images that take viewers months, or even years to totally explore visually – is my goal. I want people to look beyond the obvious to celebrate these lives.


©2024 Trena McNabb