Lonely paintings on my wall,
Creations of my lonely soul,
I look at you and then I see
The deepest inner part of me.
The more I look the more I see
That I have truly painted me.
You aren't pictures on my wall,
You're really mirror of my soul.
-Mary Zakarian

The portraits on this page were painted in oil, pastel, acrylic, gouache, colored pencil, and crayon. Many were painted from live models, some were inspired by photographs, and some are entirely the artist's creation--composite heads from different times and places. Zakarian has always focused on ethnic minorities, and many of her portraits are studies in oppression and pain, reflecting the experiences of her own mother, whom she painted many times.

Zakarian's "The Face of Freedom (left), " commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, was inspired by a man she saw on her trip to Armenia. He called himself, simply, "Hairig," which means "father" in Armenian. The original painting is owned by the commission, and 100 signed prints have been sold.