Heart in the Old Country, Hope in the New by F.A. Moore

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Heart in the Old Country, Hope in the New by 

Oil on panel
8 × 8 in.
Oil glazes, built gradually
July 2012 Juried Invitational Exhibition


Inspired by Maree Cardinale’s black and white photograph of a senior citizen on the streets of Melbourne, dressed in telling garments, I imagined the woman of European decent, torn between her love of “the Old Country” and her hopes for opportunity and happiness in the new country.

It’s the story of immigration, the world over, told again and again, over thousands of years, now, by the millions who have left their old country for a new destination and a new beginning.

Although the painting is in Portrait style, it is intended to be an expressive work of the emotional condition, rather than a physical likeness.

The concept for the artwork portraying the lady, who then represents elderly immigrants in general, centered around the torn emotions and hardships hidden behind her eyes and symbolism through color and tonal values.

I hoped to create a sort of subtle tension in her pose, with her back slightly turned on the new city, even while she looks pensively toward it, offering up a flower of Hope.

The yellow side represents, of course, “the Old Country”, as immigrants typically refer to their homeland. She lived and loved, and probably raised a family there, and she can’t let go. Her memories are a bright spot. She brings those memories with her, in the flower, hoping to plant some of the Old Country magic in the New.

I feel for her deeply, and want her to be happy; but also know that it is her heart’s hold on the Old Country that helps anchor her in a foreign world. She really can’t let go; and this is her dilemma. Her tentative hold on the flower may be more than it seems.

My inspiration and reference:      

protect her Oh Lord
by Maree Cardinale
Heart in the Old Country, Hope in the New
by F.A. Moore

Thank you, Maree!

2014-03-02 in Art with Meaning
2012-08-31 in Southern United States Artists
2012-09-20 in Women Painters
2012-08-07 Honors and Judges’ Special Awards in Solo Exhibition’s SoJie 17


  • Jean M. Laffitau
    Jean M. Laffitauover 2 years ago

    What a wonderful, tender, beautiful painting my friend!

  • Jean thank you so much for coming by. Your praise means a lot.

    – F.A. Moore

  • billyboy
    billyboyover 2 years ago

    I love how your interpretation translates to a timeless story. And every cubic millimeter of emotion mentioned in your description is so eloquently weaved through the texture of your strokes.
    And for all the problems you had with your computer and for all your unsureness regarding the colors we were seeing in your WIPs, this has turned out beautifully Frannie.
    Big congrats on nailing such a wonderfully emotive piece :-)

  • Billy, I have shown angst about the monitor/display differences, haven’t I. Gosh I must have worn you all out with it. Ha! Still… thank you for putting my mind at ease, and allowing me to just enjoy the final, even in it’s present state. I needed that. I am really delighted that you see the emotion within. Thank you!

    – F.A. Moore

  • micklyn
    micklynover 2 years ago

    Truly wonderful work, Frannie!! I have loved watching this painting take form through your WIP’s, and the final result is just gorgeous. : )

  • Micklyn, what a sweet comment. It feels so good to hear the “gorgeous” word. :D

    – F.A. Moore

  • Robin King
    Robin Kingover 2 years ago

    She’s lovely, Frannie…and although she’s not young, there’s the joy of youth in her face, the glow of anticiaption in the entire piece. Such colors! Truly beautiful! Your choice of that brght spring flower, held by a woman who’s dressed for colder days, shows the dichotomy of her emotional state…inhabiting two worlds. You’ve highlighted the dignity and explored the potential happiness inherent in the original. Marvelous!!! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Robin, what a beautiful commentary on the work. I love how you caught the spring flower held by her, in what looks like a winter season (not to mention the winter of her life). She has beautiful, smiling eyes in the original, a fine and believable game face. But I wanted to capture something deeper, so I had to give that characteristic up for this portrait. Thanks, Robin!

    – F.A. Moore

  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleover 2 years ago

    ohhhh Frannie, I’m welling up! She is so beautiful. You’ve so captured her essence and I love the resolute accepting look on her face. She is a survivor and she has decided to survive with hope. The colours are beautiful and I respect your eye for the balancing of them.
    This is just so so wonderful, thank you so very much for bringing her to life in another dimension. I’m so moved.
    Love Maree xxx
    PS I love her eyes!

  • Maree!!! How lucky I am to be here when you see the final work and comment on it. Thank you! That just warms my heart, especially as I know how touched you were by her situation. Yes, I believe she picked the biggest flower she could find to take with her, a sign of bright hope. That means so much that you are moved by the work (and love her eyes! :)

    – F.A. Moore

  • Lana Wynne
    Lana Wynneover 2 years ago

    Frannie,I see Maree’s old kind woman here,definitely. You were able to translate the essence of her image in this painting. Very precious. I love the concept and the contrast of old and new, warm and cold colors. Beautiful finish, Frannie

  • Lana, I’m so glad you see her in my work. Thank you for you great feedback, throughout!

    – F.A. Moore

  • helene ruiz
    helene ruizover 2 years ago


  • Thanks, Helene! You are up early. I haven’t hit the pillow yet. ;)

    – F.A. Moore

  • Terri Maddock
    Terri Maddockover 2 years ago

    Such a beautiful and emotive work Frannie – her eyes are wonderful!

  • Thanks so much, Terri. That’s a wonderful note.

    – F.A. Moore

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsover 2 years ago

    Ohhhh, I like the spirit of this one Frannie. Gorgeous choice of colors.

  • Oh, great! Thanks, Jim. :)

    – F.A. Moore

  • helene ruiz
    helene ruizover 2 years ago

    get some rest! lol….u sound like me now! always up, always working! lololol….luv ya frannie!

  • kinda, yeah ;) love ya back, Helene.

    – F.A. Moore

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