watercolor portrait of Margaret Atwood


5 x 7 inches (12.7 cm x 17.78 cm)
watercolor painting over graphite drawing
I referenced Alasdair McLellan’s portrait photo and painted behind Atwood’s image a handmaid similar to those in the Hulu series.

As I’m writing my memoir, I’m also reading voraciously.

In a 2003 The Guardian interview Margaret Atwood stated that her novel Oryx and Crake was speculative fiction, not science fiction — a distinction she also made of her earlier 1985 book The Handmaid’s Tale. “Science fiction has monsters and spaceships; speculative fiction could really happen.” A 2018 interview in the same publication stated “The central them in Atwood’s fiction is power, inequality or abuse of power, against women or anyone else.” ” ‘A lot of these things don’t come out of a wish for power, they come out of fear. Not to be that one.'”

Personally, since 2016 I’ve watched the U.S. in a frightening and steady march toward fascism, which hopefully we’ll begin to reverse come the November 2020 elections. There’s a lot of work to be done, as obvious to me the Trump and his ilk are only symptomatic of a larger, longstanding and systemic social sickness. That said, I decided to revisit Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale as my third book to read of 2020, and painting Margaret Atwood’s corresponding portrait.