"Magda and Mija" Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 30 inches. Painted 2008 by Matt Cauley

The Big Heads portrait series focuses on capturing a moment in time for any particular subject. As I work with the model, I want them to feel as if they are in mid-conversation with me, but have become momentarily distracted by something *just* out of the corner of their eye. The more their focus shifts to some random spot on the wall, the more their imagination then takes over. A relaxed concentration takes over, and their face conveys an appearance of daydream wonder. It is this moment I try to capture on canvas.

The settings are sparse, with the face conveying the bulk of the story. In the end, I hope the viewer brings their own interpretation to each painting, creating a new and unique story each time the work is viewed.

Magda and Mija are two subjects very dear to me: my wife and my dog. Magda has modelled for me many times over, and perhaps I’m a bit biased. Mija, though, has had a very sad life. She was abused as a puppy, and was brought to the United States for rehabilitation. Deemed unadoptable, my wife and I brought her in to our family, and have worked with her for years now helping her through her fear issues. I would like to think that in the context of this painting, Magda is calming Mija enough to allow the crazy jubilant side of the dog to start to appear. The combination of angelic face with crazy dog makes for an interesting image.

Magda and Mija
Acrylic on canvas,
20 x 30 inches,
Painted 2008 by Matt Cauley


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