Madre Centenaria e Hijo, Panama City, Panama, 3 September 2015, by Jason Gilliam

Centenarian Mother and Son

English Info: The title of this painting is “Madre Centenaria e Hijo” (“Centenarian Mother and Son”).  The size of this painting is 24 in. x 36 in.  This work was performed in acrylic paint on canvas.


This was a family project.  There was no financial motive for the work.  The project was taken with urgency due to the fact that these two people are very old and at the point of failing or near failing health.  It was essentially a now or never scenario.  Jovita Gordon de Bello, my wife’s great-grandmother is 101 years old and is no longer mobile.  She is also quite fragile.  Fernando Bello, Jovita’s son and my wife’s great-uncle, is 77 years old and is in very poor health.  He is mobile, but weak.  This composition needed to be acquired as soon as possible primarily because of Fernando’s health concerns.


Fernando Bello died on September 22, 2015, less than 3 weeks after completion of the work.


July 31, 2015 – The mission was to acquire a paint worthy composition of Fernando Bello (77 years old) and his mother Jovita Gordon de Bello (101 years old).  These subjects were not easy to capture due to health complications.  I performed two photo shoots at Los Libertadores, Panama City, Panama. The first was performed early afternoon and was almost a total failure due to poor indoor lighting conditions, with the exception of a few photos taken of Fernando Bello outside under the walkway canopy, which came out extremely well.  The second photoshoot was performed in the evening around 8:00 PM indoors.  I brought some studio lighting equipment and was able to light the scene well enough to perform a decent photo shoot.  The photo used as the basis for this painting was taken from the second photo shoot.

August 1-2, 2015 – I selected the photo to be used and performed the necessary photo editing to eliminate non-appealing elements from the scene.

August 3, 2015 – I began work on the painting.

September 3, 2015 – I completed the painting.

September 6, 2015 – Jovita and Fernando arrived at our home with other family members to see the painting.

September 22, 2015 – Fernando Bello passed away.