Natasha: Portrait of My Mother

We all know social media has led to incredible stories of people connecting, re-connecting and meeting one another. I am grateful to Twitter and Facebook for making it possible for people all over the world to find my music, listen to it and discover how much they like it!

This week brought a completely different story of connection. On February 12th, my mother’s birthday, I posted a photo of my mother, Natasha Ghent (née Nathalie Cavos Gudkov) playing her viola, wishing her a happy birthday and explaining since she was born in France, it felt so right to be in France that day, performing and doing what she loved seeing me do, playing music and singing. I dedicated that evening’s concert to her.

A few days later, one of my Facebook friends from Australia, John Prowse, wrote me to ask if he could paint the photograph of my mother I had posted. He was so moved by the photo that he wanted to paint her. Deeply touched by his request I said “yes!,” to which John replied, “I’m glad you said yes, because I already started the painting!”

Even more incredible – there’s no way John could know this – my upcoming new album, Muse, includes two songs I wrote for my mother after she passed. On one, a song called “Heavenly,” my sister Nadia plays our mother’s viola, the same instrument pictured here.

Above are John’s photos of the work in progress. I find it beautiful and fascinating to see this new painting come to life. I hope you do, too. My heartfelt thanks to you, John.

To see more of John’s art, visit his page HERE.


  • Wally Keeble
    February 16, 2014

    A beautiful comment Valerie , I am sure you are really going to love Prowsie’s finished Portrait it is fantastic . Love your music and yes Prowsie is a fantastic person . FB certainly is a great connection to meet some beautiful people as I have found out . You stay safe and keep smiling , xxx

  • Jennifer Caban
    March 28, 2016

    I loved your mother dearly this is beautiful I still have the letters she use to mail me to PR. She was the best teacher she showed me so much.

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