Sometimes it’s the support of the people around us that make things possible.
That’s how Elena Kats-Chernin feels about her sister Laura.
When they were children, Laura started to learn the piano. Then, one day after her sister's piano lesson, the Elena sat down at the keyboard and played back Laura’s pieces, note-perfect. That was the start of Elena’s journey to becoming one of Australia’s most loved composers.
Laura stopped her musical studies, but throughout all of Elena’s career, she has been there for her. She has helped look after Elena’s grandchildren, encouraged Elena in her musical career, and has been strong emotional support through many difficult times.
This is the second time I have painted Elena, and as a way to thank her for her time for the first portrait sitting, I offered her a gift of a different painting…this one. I asked her what she would like in the portrait. Without hesitation, she said her sister, Laura.
I wanted to show Elena’s complete joy and love for Laura, smiling and hugging her sister. They don’t often embrace in real life, so it was beautiful to show in this portrait what can’t always be said in person.