Saturday, January 2, 2021

Harriet Tubman the "Moses of her People."



  Harriet Tubman   oil on linen  21 x 17  collection of the artist *

 "Every Great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." Harriet Tubman


Harriet Tubman: abolitionist, activist, Union spy and scout, nurse, writer, humanitarian and early supporter of woman's suffrage movement.

 Called the  “The Moses of her People” she was a courageous and committed “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. Tubman was never caught and never lost a "passenger" of the nearly 300 slaves  she lead to freedom. Only 5 feet tall, she was strong and fearless, she carried a pistol and dressed in disquises!

Harriet raised funds to help freedmen, and in later years was an activist, joining Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the movement for women's suffrage.

She is considered the first African American woman to serve in the military and died  in 1913, about 93 years old, with full military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn New York.

 As part of this project, "A Tribute to American Women Leaders,"  I have recorded the development of each oil on linen portrait. I thought this would add more viewer engagement with the subject, the portrait and the portrait progress. 

I chose to portray Harriet Tubman as a younger woman, when she was still so strong and vibrant, also, because the public usually sees her photo image as an older woman.

As usual, I begin my portraits with a oil paint block in, just to get a base of color down on the canvas, upon which I will build up layers of paint. At this point, I am not concerned with the likeness during these early stages, as with the building up of layers of paint the facial structure will begin to form and the features will fall into place.  

Early block in and reference photo for portrait ( on left)

Portrait progressing

Further blocking in of paint layers

More development of the features

Finished  portrait

  Harriet Tubman was elected into the  National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973. 
Tubman, Harriet - National Women’s Hall of Fame (


To learn more about my  "A Tribute to American Women Leaders" project visit this post on my blog:


 For more information, to contact me or to see more of my portraiture, please visit my website: 

Thank you for taking the time to read this honorary blog celebrating such an important American woman leader.

*Portrait based on a photograph from the Library of Congress collection.

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