LIVING VEILED

On a sweltering summer day waiting to catch a connecting flight at Orly airport a woman behind me, dressed in black from head to toe in a traditional niqab, pinched my bare arm and tugged at my sleeveless tank top. She pointed with a scolding finger at my arms and neck. I pointed and gestured at her veiled dress, motioned it was too hot and how could she possibly stand it. I could see only her eyes and knew that she was smiling, as I was doing the same. We each shrugged our shoulders and moved into our respective corners of the waiting room. This simple encounter of two women from different cultures is something I have been thinking about as I draw and contemplate the beauty of a veil falling across a form. Shortly after that encounter working in my studio I asked my model to wrap herself in a sheet holding it to cover her face. Then I asked her to make her eyes smile.