Meeting The Neanderthals

We all have some Neanderthal in our genes, we are now told. The only current humans without a trace of these interesting ancestors are people from Africa whose distant relatives have never left the continent of Africa or mixed with incomes. So that is nearly all of us.

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Even more interesting, genetic testing has shown these fascinating people were red haired and pale skinned … sounding wonderfully Celtic to my unscientific brain. And that might have started it really. I saw the reconstructed models and was hooked. I want to find these people. Meet them face to face. The canvasses came out and I let my brushes fly back through the thousands of years.

I have been told these paintings are a bit scary, and I have to agree they are. Challenging might be a better word. But I never intended them to be pretty. They are not for the faint hearted. But I am enjoying the process of looking for our ancestors. I never believed the Neanderthals to be unintelligent. It was just a long time ago. I want to imagine them and their lives.

Hence a departure from my traditionally tranquil faces … thinly drawn smiles, glances, a search for beauty, my unpainted ladies of bare canvas on a painted ground … these Neanderthals are thickly applied, colourful, vibrant, staring us and each other in the face. I am rather enjoying myself. I am not expecting you to like them.

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