Nope, Eric Griggs . Hilda is based on a real person who was very much like the Hilda in my story. The real Hilda was a research chemist rather than a tax attorney. Most of the other details are true, including the news photographer daughter who worked for the Washington bureau of the Times.
As far as I know, nobody ever painted a portrait of Hilda. Part of my inspiration for writing this novel was a Lucien Freud exhibition I once visited. I imagined David painting in a similar style, though with a clearer focus.
I also imagined him struggling, like Freud, to cope with demands for conceptual composition while prefering a more traditionalist or representational approach to painting.
In the early 90s, “representationalist” was almost a curse word among art critics.
I also thought about the sculpture of Rodin, particularly his elderly courtesan, whose ruined beauty is so stunning and heart breaking.
But more about all that will come. Much more art talk will happen as David’s work is featured in Renaud’s gallery.
As for Hilda, she has quite a bit more to say yet!
P.S. got private note. Fixed. Thanks! Btw — claps? ;-)