This is an original charcoal drawing called Ladies Auxiliary. I got the idea for this image from a photograph in a local newspaper of a ladies auxiliary group for a nonprofit organization. The image struck me in several ways: First, the title of 'ladies auxiliary' suddenly struck me - it seemed that women had always had an 'auxiliary' position in society. These ladies, often older, served quietly in the background, often not allowed to belong to the principal, male, part of the organization, as in veterans' groups. And in society, older women are often not seen as vibrant, distinctive contributors - rather as 'little old ladies' - or they are not seen at all. The idea of a group portrait also appealed to me, in the manner of Rembrandt's group portraits, with his dramatic use of light and dark tones. The individual portraits here are subdued, but I tried to indicate personality by body language. I also tried to present these ladies with dignity, for their behind-the-scenes contribution to various causes. Charcoal for me is a very expressive medium, and I tried to use these dramatic and subtle changes of tonal value combined with large simple shapes and curves. This drawing is professionally matted with a pale gray matte, and framed with a light gray frame incised with small black grooves.