Nellie Latourette spent part of her youth in McMinnville, Ore., and lived out her last years at Edgefield. She died at the age of 103. She taught piano, never married and worked for years on an extremely long poem about Oregon's 19th-century pioneers, a few of whom were her ancestors. In this painting, she's sitting in the 2nd-floor balcony of the Hotel Oregon, but the scene beyond the cast-iron railings is of Edgefield, her other place of residence. Opposites are depicted all over the picture -- warm vs. cool colors; chastity vs. license; freedom vs. immobility. Virginal white flowers are pinned under the piano lid, while lush pink flowers try to encroach from the outside. Nellie's dress seems made out of inescapably thick cloth, with an absurdly imposing belt keeping it all together --yet her feet are bare. She's either just drained her wine glass, or it never held any wine to begin with.
Despite all the confusion, she's beckoning you to join her in a duet. Incidentally, the piano in this painting is based on one that was found in the auditorium of the St. Francis School in Bend when McMenamins first began converting the building into a soaking pool in 2004.