"Her Reply"
oil on canvas
35" x 29"

"Her Reply" is the companion painting to "His Letter". The viewer is invited to read her
response to his letter and enter into the lives and feelings of these two people.
The cup of tea, saucer, and napkin reveal her as a refined lady, but the lack of a spoon indicates
her stress at receiving his letter, which is located in the center of the painting. Lying alone on the
table is a wedding band. This and the picture of children tell the viewer that she has married and has
a family. However, the wedding ring is off her finger. Could she possible be a widow? It is obvious
that she has not forgotten her love because she has kept the locket with his picture. On the pages of
the open book is a poem entitled "The Murdered Traveler," so we know that she had feared him dead
and lost to her forever. The silver ink well and frame and the beautiful lamp and surroundings tell us
that she is a woman of some means, while the roses and crocheted dollies speak of her femininity.

Again the light and how it effects the objects on which it falls is very important in the painting.

I invite you to enter into these two paintings. Let your imagination go and enjoy the lives and future
of these two people.

-Gretchen Claybrook